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December 11, 2009: Clay Ryder, an analyst with the Sageza Group, said the debate is one of perception. “One guy’s proprietary is another guy’s value-add,” Ryder said in an interview. Dell’s approach fits in line with the way the company has traditionally operated, he said. “Dell is a company that historically has lived and died by margin,” Ryder said. “Its approach is to be the most open, the most flexible. For Dell, it’s really important [to be] on the open side of the card because it always works on a thin margin.” The more suppliers Dell has, the easier it is to get a better price by playing them off each other. That feeds into Dell’s history of aggressively pricing its products and making them open. However, both Cisco and HP have offerings that are widely used by enterprises worldwide, as do their various partners, so while they may not be the definition of “open standards,” they are industry-standard products, Ryder said.

November 12, 2009: "If [Intel and AMD] can settle their differences on the playground rather than in the principal's office, everyone will be better off," said Clay Ryder, an analyst with the Sageza Group. "It's an infinitely better approach than spending time in the courtroom."

November 4, 2009: Clay Ryder, an analyst with the Sageza Group, said regulatory attention is nothing new to Intel. “Intel’s been under scrutiny so many times in the past by so many regulatory agencies, and so far has pretty much emerged unscathed,” Ryder said. “Maybe a slap on the wrist or two by a parochial nun, but nothing too severe.” Whether that happens again remains to be seen, he said. The biggest risk to Intel is that having to change its practices of tightly controlling how much product it sells to whom could impact the bottom line. “If you can’t cherry-pick how [the product] is sold, it’s going to hurt revenues,” Ryder said. In addition, Intel and other top-tier vendors may just have to get used to closer scrutiny from regulators, although while there may be questions around the chip maker’s practices, no one really wants Intel to go away, he said. “They want [Intel] to play better at the playground, but they don’t want to steal their lunch money,” Ryder said.

August 13, 2009: Overall, the crowd [at CloudWorld in San Francisco] looked to be between 1,500 and 2,000 people. "I thought JavaOne was kind of sparse in attendance but that was a Beatles reunion concert compared to this," joked Clay Ryder, principal analyst for The Sageza Group.


July 29, 2009: “In a lousy economy, you have to do everything you can to get that customer dollar,” Clay Ryder, an analyst with the Sageza Group who was at the IBM event, said in an interview. “It may sound crass, but it’s true. If you can be more in tune with the needs of the customers, it’s better than being just one of the many companies looking to sell products.”

June 3, 2009: “Por lo que yo sé esto nunca se ha hecho en un mainframe pero sí en otros tipo de servidor terminal con una arquitectura Intel”, afirma Clay Ryder, presidente de Sageza Group. “Sería fabuloso pensar en que no hay que tocar nada para desplegar aquellos dispositivos y todo desde una única posición central”. Pero Ryder mantiene que el concepto plantea múltiples cuestiones.

"To my knowledge this has never been done on a mainframe, but always on some other kind of terminal server with an Intel architecture and not System z," says Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group. "It would be terrific in there is nothing to touch and you can deploy those devices and everything takes place in one central location." But Ryder says the concept doesn't come without questions.

May 29, 2009: Clay Ryder, an analyst with Sageza Group, said IBM has done well in driving new workloads to the mainframe, pointing to the various specialty engines that make it easier to run Linux and Java workloads. However, for businesses, the issue usually is one of capacity. “It’s like a railroad,” Ryder said. “It’s not particularly good to move a head of lettuce, but it’s really good for moving 20 cars of lettuce.”

May 26, 2009: Clay Ryder, an analyst with the Sageza Group, said much of the resurgence of the mainframe platform can be attributed in part of IBM’s introduction of the z9 mainframe in 2005, which featured greater virtualization capabilities and specialty engines for Linux and Java workloads, and the z10 Business Class in 2008, which was priced for smaller enterprises. “The specialty engines, for such things as Linux and Java, helped [show] the mainframe as a viable consolidation [option] for workloads that normally wouldn’t be put on mainframes,” Ryder said. He pointed to the announcement in April by a Brazilian startup called Hoplon Infotainment, which is using IBM mainframe technology for the upcoming launch of its Taikodom multiplayer online video game, as an example of the expanding reach of the mainframe platform. “Who would have ever thought of the mainframe as game console, though a massive one?” Ryder said.

May 21, 2009: Clay Ryder, an analyst with the Sageza Group, said there will be some impact felt [over the delay of Tukwila]. "Anytime something shifts in the schedule, it's an impact to someone," Ryder said. "Intel is not developing these things in a vacuum. They're making them for someone." There also are other vendors within the Itanium Solutions Alliance, such as Fujitsu, NEC, Hitachi and SGI, who also are going to be impacted, Ryder said. For end users who may be looking to jump to another platform, the good news is that they have options, from increasingly powerful x86 chips to the IBM and Sun processors, he said.

May 4, 2009: Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group, thinks the company may find its toughest competitor to be Intel's Xeon, since it has more than enough capability. "If I'm going to deploy a basic server, I'm just going to go with a Xeon," he said. Itanium will be good for Itanium customers who are already in a buying mood, he added. "In the verticals they are going after, it will allow them to broaden the sale to offer additional units. To just sell to the broad, horizontal market, they will have to have a compelling TCO argument, and I haven't seen the numbers to say here's the compelling TCO statement to come out ahead." Ryder said the Novell support will be a boost for Itanium trying to go broader market. "Novell has a bunch of middleware and branch office software to make communications work better. That's a plus for them, because it lets them be more generic and horizontal in some usage areas," he said.

April 6, 2009: "I think some of [Scott McNealy's resistance to IBM's offer for Sun Microsystems], honestly, is 'It's my baby,'" said Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group. "It's an emotional attachment than a financial/logical one. I'm not saying that to be critical of Scott. Sometimes, as a human being, we do things that don't make sense, but we do them anyway. I think it would be a travesty in many respects if Sun becomes another SGI, and it would be a travesty if Sun becomes a collection of parts," Ryder said.

April 1, 2009: Clay Ryder, an analyst with The Sageza Group, said that some in the industry may look at the sale of SGI to 10-year-old Rackable as the fall of a technology titan. In reality, though, SGI had simply run its course. “SGI really didn’t have the strength to continue as an independent entity, and the industry said so,” as illustrated by the multiple bankruptcies and slowing sales, Ryder said. The deal with Rackable is a good one for SGI customers, who can expect to see some level of support for their SGI customers, as well as resellers, who will still have some SGI products to offer, he said. “What really matters to customers is that their products are supported, and for them, it really doesn’t matter what nameplate is in there,” Ryder said. The benefits for Rackable are less clear, he said. At $25 million, there aren’t a lot of risks for Rackable. “It’s a relatively low price for Rackable to pay to get some products, some engineers,” Ryder said. “It may give Rackable some products they can use.”

March 30, 2009: Sun's plans to put SSDs inside servers could change the status quo in server design if other vendors follow suit, says Clay Ryder, president of analyst firm The Sageza Group. Other server vendors already offer SSD modules, including Hewlett-Packard and Dell, but mostly as an alternative to hard drives. Sun's announcement gives it an early-mover advantage over its competitors, but the company sometimes falters in executing on such projects, Ryder says. The innovation may give it an advantage in the short term but it remains to be seen how long it will hold that lead, he says.

March 16, 2009: “A quel che mi risulta, una cosa del genere non è mai stata fatta finora su dei mainframe, ma sempre su altre tipologie di terminal server con architettura Intel, non certo su un System Z”, dice Clay Rider, presidente di Sageza Group, azienda di analisi di mercato. “Ne vedo ottimo uso per scopi didattici o per workstation a funzionalità fisse. Sarebbe ottimo non aver nulla da toccare, poter dispiegare un’intera architettura su PC periferici in pochi secondi e controllare tutto da una postazione centrale. Non appena studenti o utenti terminano l’uso, tutto può essere istantaneamene ripulito, archiviato, o qualsiasi altra forma di atto amministrativo informatico, e ciò è davvero un plus“.

"To my knowledge this has never been done on a mainframe, but always on some other kind of terminal server with an Intel architecture and not System z," says Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group. "I could see for schools or fixed function workstations. It would be terrific in there is nothing to touch and you can deploy those devices and everything takes place in one central location. As students or users leave, files can be cleaned or archived or whatever and from an administrative point of view that is a real plus."

March 12, 2009: 一方、Sageza Groupの社長であるクレイ・ライダー(Clay Ryder)氏は、SSDドライブをサーバに組み込むというSunのやり方が他ベンダーにも広まれば、サーバのデザインが大きく変わるかもしれないと指摘する。ただし、それがサーバ分野でSunのリードにつながるかどうかはわからないと述べた。

Meanwhile, Clay Ryder, president of Sageza Group, says Sun's plans to put SSD drives inside servers may influence other vendors. He also points out that  the design of the server may change significantly, although it is not clear whether this is connected to Sun's lead in the server space.

March 10, 2009: Secondo Clay Ryder — presidente di Sageza Group — esso potrebbe essere adatto per le scuole, dove risulterebbe utile avere un punto unico di riferimento. Lo stesso esempio è riportato sul sito di z/VOS, dove si sottolinea la disparità di attrezzature tra istituti scolastici, che sarebbe colmata da un sistema centralizzato. Ma lo stesso Ryder fa notare alcuni problemi: anzitutto un System z di IBM non lo si trova certo nel negozio sotto casa, e quindi la sua acquisizione va attentamente valutata.

According to Clay Ryder, Chairman of Sageza Group, it could be suitable for schools, where it would be useful to have a single point of reference. The same example is shown on z / VOS website, which stresses the difference in equipment between schools, which would be filled by a centralized system. But Ryder also points out some problems: first, with System z, IBM is certainly not in the high street, so the acquisition should be carefully evaluated.

March 10, 2009: Sun's plans to put SSDs inside servers could change the status quo in server design if other vendors follow suit, said Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group. Other server vendors already offer SSD modules, including Hewlett-Packard and Dell, but mostly as an alternative to hard drives.


March 4, 2009: "To my knowledge this has never been done on a mainframe, but always on some other kind of terminal server with an Intel architecture and not System z," says Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group. "I could see for schools or fixed function workstations. It would be terrific in there is nothing to touch and you can deploy those devices and everything takes place in one central location. As students or users leave, files can be cleaned or archived or whatever and from an administrative point of view that is a real plus." But Ryder says the concept doesn't come without questions. "What is the magic seat count number where it makes more sense to do this on a mainframe. And the Z is not the kind of machine people have laying around. There is certainly a lot to think about here," he says. Another issue is the System z was designed originally to do transaction processing not the kind of workloads that are done on PCs today. "But that said, the Z is a very powerful and fast system," Ryder says. He says the design of the z9 and z10 and off-load engines in the mainframe such as the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) make it likely the system could take on some workloads not anticipated in the system's traditional design.

March 3, 2009: Sun's issue is " being the No. 3 guy behind two juggernauts," said Clay Ryder, the president of analyst firm Sageza Group. "Part of the challenge they have with Sparc is they still have to maintain development and R&D expense for that platform. I don't think Sparc is sunk by any stretch, but it certainly has plenty of challenges."

December 15, 2008: По мнению президента консалтинговой компании The Sageza Group Клея Райдера (Clay Ryder), это вполне реально. "Компания уже выпустила целый ряд сетевых приложений. Вполне возможно, что сейчас она разрабатывает некую единую среду для них".

According to the president of the consulting company The Sageza Group Clay Ryder, it is quite possible. "The company has already released a number of network applications. It is possible that now they develop some kind of unified environment."

December 8, 2008: Clay Ryder of The Sageza Group explains nicely why an network application infrastructure makes more sense -- a "software-as-a-service" platform, rather than an all-out desktop-oriented operating system. He points out that " operating system really connotes the stuff that makes the hardware and software talk to each other, and they are not in that business." He goes on to say that developing an operating system to use as an infrastructure for network applications that could be deployed virtually anywhere is more in keeping with Google's past service offerings.


December 5, 2008: "I think they could be working on an application infrastructure, because an operating system really connotes the stuff that makes the hardware and software talk to each other, and they are not in that business," said Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group. "But as an infrastructure for building network apps, I would think Google would be working on something like that," he continued. "They've been rolling out more and more freebie apps and I would think they would eventually want to make some money the old fashioned way. It would make a lot of sense that they would want to have a network app infrastructure that they could roll out most anywhere." [Ryder also] felt Google would not take on Microsoft on the operating system level, because its goal was to make that level irrelevant. "I would never expect Google to get into a desktop OS space," said Ryder. "That just doesn't make sense. But for a network application infrastructure that is not dependent on the hardware but just the usage of a client, that would make more sense."

December 4, 2008: Clay Ryder, president of analyst firm Sageza Group, doesn’t necessarily think so. He sees EC2 and other cloud computing products to be based on a different pricing scheme. Whereas servers are based on a sales model that includes the cost of time, materials and markup, cloud computing is more of a values-based pricing model, and the two are not the same. Ryder likened it to owning a car compared to renting or leasing. When you buy a car, you’re paying for the cost of materials to build it, the cost of labor it took to build (time), and any markup to make profit. When you rent one, you pay for a service. “There is a lot of value in the Amazon approach,” he said. “You can turn it off and turn it on, and there’s no long-term cost to you, and that is an intangible value.”


September 24, 2008: "Pretty cool stuff, but it will likely have limited market reach, appeal," said Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder. "The real question is just how many customers are there for a solution of this scale and performance?"


September 10, 2008: "While IBM does do large strategies at times, this one is particularly large and encompassing. Information infrastructure is one of the pillars of the NEDC and today's announcements are part of establishing its scope and depth," Clay Ryder, president at analyst firm Sageza Group, told "EMC has been articulating a broad message about information storage, management, content and document management, etc. so quite some time." Yet IBM and EMC aren't the only ones with dueling storage strategies, Ryder noted. Other vendors such as HP, Sun Microsystems and Hitachi Digital Storage, have jumped on the bandwagon as well, though to a lesser extent. "IBM needs to articulate a broader view of the datacenter to illustrate their competitive advantages over EMC's considerable storage expertise, but lesser broad-based IT capabilities," Ryder said. "EMC is the leader, but IBM is a contender, and one that is getting more agile in storage vision and execution."

September 9, 2008: “[IBM storage product announcement] is not a single product, but a collection of things, a theme,” said Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group, a research firm.


September 8, 2008: “IBM is trying to illustrate how many facets of their storage offerings can be viewed as something strategic and cohesive as opposed to just another series of ‘cool products,’” said analyst Clay Ryder, the president of Sageza Group.

August 22, 2008: "This is certainly the good fallout from that [high-k metal gate] breakthrough," said Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group. "That certainly makes it easier to carve off a chunk of their existing design and repurpose it without having to create a whole new architecture."


May 18, 2008: Blade servers use less energy and require less floor space than rack-mounted servers, says Clay Rider, president of The Sageza Group Inc., an IT research firm in Union City, Calif. They also offer simpler component connections and easier management.


March 8, 2008: That would be the real killer app, said analyst Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group. "If all [the JVM port] does is let you run the apps other phones have and they don't do anything new and creative, it's a check box item plus," he said. "But since it's a lot more powerful platform, there's a potential to do a lot more with it. If folks can wrap their heads around getting more powerful apps on it, then it's a game changer. Then it might start looking like a pocket PC, which you can do more with than a telephone." With Apple declaring Adobe's Flash to be too resource-heavy for the iPhone, that puts JavaFX in a good position to be the best substitute out there for RIAs, added Ryder. "It would be a win for Sun and a loss for Adobe," he said.

February 12, 2008: "For the N3300 and N3600, the inclusion of SATA and SAS drive support should help broaden the number of potential buyers," Clay Ryder, principal analyst with The Sageza Group, told eWEEK. "SATA drives make a substantial change in the economics of storage capacity while offering decent performance. At the high end, 1,008TB of capacity is huge, and more than you or I will need anytime soon; however, for Web 2.0 services, and organizations with large amounts of multimedia data, they will easily find a way to gobble up the capacity," Ryder said.

January 29, 2008: Clay Ryder, president of analyst firm the Sageza Group, said renaming the Blackbox to S20 is a sign that "the product has moved beyond the skunkworks project" and into something "worthy of an official-sounding name." "This implies some degree of marketing and product maturity as a long-term play as opposed to an example of what some clever engineers can do," he said. Ryder added that the product's target user has begun to crystallize: data centers dealing with constraints – constraints of power, cooling, space and infrastructure. Thus the push overseas and to American markets needing extra compute capacity quickly, such as university research labs.

December 12, 2007: "The endpoint is a critical piece for Symantec because of the company's reliance on its AV product as a cash and market penetration engine," according to Lawrence Dietz, research director at The Sageza Group Inc. "They need to take steps to bolster their position. Symantec likely believes that the endpoint security buyer is key to their success and that adding Altiris' products to the Symantec sales bag makes great sense."

November 26, 2007: "For the System i, ISV support is the name of the game," says Clay Ryder, an analyst with the Sageza Group. "Without broad ISV support, the System i has limited opportunity since so much of that platform is moved through the channel. Channel partners need the apps to move the iron and offer servers, so ISVs are essential. IBM did exit the business application marketplace a number of years ago. While BI could be viewed as re-entry into this space, I would posit that IBM is viewing it more as an underpinning or framework on which other applications and greater solutions can be built."

November 7, 2007: "What's interesting," said Clay Ryder, president of analyst firm the Sageza Group Inc., "is that by quantifying and having a certification process with a third party, they're laying the mechanism by which a standard credit could be traded or sold in the market if that were to come into play." For this certificate system to work properly, Ryder said it needs to catch on nationally and extend to other IT providers. "It's going to have to be larger than IBM and Neuwing for these kinds of programs to really work," he said. "There needs to be some kind of national requirements or standards or marketplace, if you will, for the credits. In a national program, all of a sudden you've got a much larger market in which these things can trade." Ryder added that this program wouldn't preclude companies from going after local incentives from utility companies such as those Pacific Gas & Electric offers. "Why not double-dip?" he said.

November 5, 2007: "It'll be interesting to see how this all works," said Clay Ryder, an analyst with Sageza Group. "As time goes on, the value of these certificates may grow dramatically ... Eventually we may see these bought and sold on eBay, for example." "The question is: Do you stop and pick up a penny? Is it worth the 2 or 3 cents worth of energy that it has been estimated to pick it up? Probably not," Ryder said. "But if we're talking about a quarter, then it might be worth it. Same thing here; if the savings get to be higher, more people will want to get involved."

October 23, 2007: Still, Sun can't afford to slow down at all in this space, said Clay Ryder, president and chief consultant of The Sageza Group. "In the world of mobile phone and gadgets, they make the upgrade cycle for PCs look like dinosaurs by comparison," he said. "Every year you get a new phone, every year you get a new gadget and the growth of functionality is incredible. ME may not be useless but it can be left behind real easily." Ryder said Sun runs the risk of falling behind in the mobile space if it doesn't keep up a fast pace. "Right now, ME is an established technology and I don't think it's suddenly being shunned, but I just don't think it's representing the leading edge any more," he said. "They have to keep it competitive if not leading, because they run the risk of not being in the next set of handsets. And everyone knows you can't afford to have a gap between generations of handsets because you don't want to appear to lose momentum," Ryder added.

October 23, 2007: Still, Sun can't afford to slow down at all in this space, said Clay Ryder, president and chief consultant of The Sageza Group. "In the world of mobile phone and gadgets, they make the upgrade cycle for PCs look like dinosaurs by comparison," he said. "Every year you get a new phone, every year you get a new gadget and the growth of functionality is incredible. ME may not be useless but it can be left behind real easily."  Ryder said Sun runs the risk of falling behind in the mobile space if it doesn't keep up a fast pace. "Right now, ME is an established technology and I don't think it's suddenly being shunned, but I just don't think it's representing the leading edge any more," he said. "They have to keep it competitive if not leading, because they run the risk of not being in the next set of handsets. And everyone knows you can't afford to have a gap between generations of handsets because you don't want to appear to lose momentum," Ryder added.

October 18, 2007: "Given that organizations are leery of trying out unknown or unsupported software, the fact that Ubuntu has gained support from major systems providers such as Dell and Sun should help," Clay Ryder, president of Sageza Group, told LinuxInsider. "Right now, it is unlikely to unseat Red Hat or Novell from the number 1 and 2 spots, but overseas Red Hat is not the leader, and both distros are controlled by North American companies," he added. "Technocrats and developers will always be defining which solution is technically 'better,' but ease of support and purchase thereof is a greater concern," Ryder said. "Applications are the ultimate driver of deployment, not the operating system itself." 

October 15, 2007: Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group consultancy and present at the briefing, said he felt Sun is earning some badly needed credibility in the open source community. "They have not become the goto open source player but they are earning some credibility," he told Sun's efforts are still a work in progress, he went on to say, but progressing. "It's paying off in getting some developer credibility, and they need to re-win the developer world. It also helps them with their ISVs (Independent Software Vendors). It's important to have that mindshare. They lost a lot of it," said Ryder.


October 4, 2007: "This company [VMware] is growing like crazy," said Clay Ryder, an analyst with the Sageza Group.

October 3, 2007: "They say they're [IBM and HP] pretty much squarely going after SMBs, but these are more midsized products, a few hundred-person company, as opposed to a 50-person organization," said Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group Inc., a Union City, Calif.-based research firm. "With blades in particular, the major vendors have started to see these really as a way to rejuvenate their midmarket sales. These solutions are compact, they run off standard electric power, and nothing fancy is required in the room where it's plugged in." Technologically speaking, the two products are also pretty similar. Analysts say both low-end blade products are good solutions. When asked to describe what differentiates the two, they were hard-pressed to give examples. "They're roughly comparable," Ryder said. "You look at things like switches, ports -- at that level you're talking about standard, basic stuff."


September 5, 2007: A slowdown is often viewed as a natural event in market dynamics, a maturing of a technology. "This is not a bad thing," said Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group. Linux uptake had been on a tear, Ryder said. The momentum continued as business buyers increasingly saw its value.

August 31, 2007: The blade needed this redesign, said Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group. "The old design kinda limited them," he told "If you wanted to stick one blade in a chassis, you could live with it. But if you wanted to go to town and had to buy 2 chassis because they could only be half-filled, that was a problem.

August 14, 2007: Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder says the latest announcements appears to be intended to emphasise the company's continuing support for System i. "A road map for i5/OS should help assuage any concerns there may have been that the OS was going to be relegated to secondary status with respect to the Power6 platform and the new features should be well received by those who understand the value of integrated solutions," he says. Ryder says Power6 was designed with virtualisation and consolidation as a driving consideration. "Overall, the announcements are a good indicator that IBM intends to continue investment in the venerable Systemi," he says. "The continued investment in i5/OS and the hardware is good news for all user constituencies," Ryder says.


August 10, 2007: Sun Microsystems says it has the world's fastest server microprocessor, the UltraSPARC T2. And it is the first Sun microprocessor that will be available to other companies. What does this mean for Sun? Tom Foremski talks to analysts Nathan Brookwood from Insight64 and Clay Ryder from the Sageza Group. 

August 10, 2007: According to a study by The Sageza Group, the Power 6 is a compelling reason for the take up of the p570’s. The ability to move virtual partitions without the need for a reboot between p570’s “allows administrators to treat servers as a pooled resource as opposed to a workload specific model” said Clay Ryder, president, The Sageza Group.

August 8, 2007: Clay Ryder, president of analyst firm the Sageza Group Inc. in Union City, Calif., agreed, adding that it's another feature of System i's ability to connect and manage System x through iSCSI. "At a very basic level, it's another arrow in the quiver of System i's management functionality," he said.

August 7, 2007: Live Partition Mobility helps multiple servers operate as one fluid pool of computing resources, according to a research report by The Sageza Group Inc. that IBM cited.

August 6, 2007: Live Partition Mobility, one of the many unique capabilities of the POWER6 processor, was highlighted in a recent study by The Sageza Group, where it was described as "one of the very compelling aspects of the new p570" in a report on POWER6. "This ability to move virtual partitions seamlessly -- i.e., without suspending them followed by a reboot -- between any suitably equipped System p allows administrators to treat servers as a pooled resource as opposed to a workload specific model," said Clay Ryder, president, The Sageza Group. "In addition, partition mobility bolsters the energy efficiency discussion even further. Just as electric utilities constantly monitor generation facilities to optimize output per minimum production cost, so too will IT personnel be able to move workloads to the systems that can bear the workload at the minimal cost per computational unit. Being able to adjust workloads to maximize performance while minimizing power consumption brings a new factor into data center planning. Clever deployment and redeployment of workloads could result not only in notable energy savings, but also in averted capital expenditures to augment data center floor space, cooling, or electrical capacity."

August 1, 2007: "Cooling and power draw are considerations," said Clay Ryder, president of research firm the Sageza Group Inc. "In overall power consumption, blades should come out ahead," he said. But "if you consolidate the number of servers into a smaller amount of space, that can possibly change the heating profile of the data center."

August 1, 2007: "Cooling and power draw are considerations," said Clay Ryder, president of research firm the Sageza Group Inc. "In overall power consumption, blades should come out ahead," he said. But "if you consolidate the number of servers into a smaller amount of space, that can possibly change the heating profile of the data center."

July 17, 2007: That's no small thing for enterprises looking to consolidate platforms or deploy in-house .NET apps to Linux machines, says Clay Ryder, president of the California technology research and consulting firm The Sageza Group Inc. "If you move everything to Linux and say to the developers, 'Now guys, you have to learn this,' their productivity is going to be a lot lower for a while. They're going to have to be re-trained, and they're not going to be as effective," Ryder says. "You can avoid that productivity hit or space it out over time with a translation tool like this." The Sageza Group's Ryder says well-written, high-level code often can execute correctly on the new platform straight from the Mainsoft translation tool, but older code, which typically is more tied to hardware, may require some manual tweaking. The .NET to Java port is typically straightforward, though, because both platforms are well insulated from hardware, he says. "The .NET environment is different than NetBeans or other Java environments. However, that being said, since it's just software you can get the necessary class libraries to take a .NET app and run it through this tool and get the code you need to run it in a Java EE environment," Ryder says. Ryder says Mainsoft has long been the dominant cross-platform portability tools vendor. "There are niche players at this," he adds, "but Mainsoft is certain one of the longer-established players in this space.


July 4, 2007: "This is really geared toward the smaller end of the market," said Clay Ryder, president of analyst firm The Sageza Group. "If you look at SMBs, particularly on the smaller side, most blade solutions out there have been larger than most smaller businesses can take advantage of with the chassis, the blades, the interconnects. If they only need a couple blades, all the other overhead is cost-prohibitive."

July 3, 2007: Sageza Group president Clay Ryder draws comparison's to the HP pretexting scandal as a template for SAP. "A lot of times the real test is how an issue like this is addressed, not what happened in the first place," said Ryder. "HP (Quote) dealt with the issue. SAP (Quote) is starting down that road, by admitting something bad happened and saying they're taking steps to insure it never happens again. If SAP handles this properly, and there are no further revelations, we won't be still talking about this in any significant in 2008. But if there's another breach of this kind, it would be disastrous to SAP."

July 2, 2007: Blade servers have been on the market for about five years, but until recently users tended to view them as specialized systems for niche areas rather than general-purpose systems, said Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group. But now, users are warming up to what blades offer, he said. The Sun 6000 is geared to the smaller end of the scale, said Ryder. The company has a higher-end model, the Sun 8000, but he said it was hard to justify using that in a business or organization with 100 employees.

June 15, 2007: Clay Ryder of the Sageza Group notes: “While all of the [OpenSolaris] source can be freely viewed, the value proposition is that off the shelf, the code works, and customers can focus on developing their intellectual property, not fuss about testing the open communities' product.”

June 7, 2007: Larry Dietz, Research Director for The Sageza Group, in Union City, Calif., thinks there are several things to consider. "First, there is a basic hardware and software inventory of what the client thinks he has out there. If you discover things that the client doesn't know about, then the client will think you are a genius. Second, you need to find unauthorized hardware, such as servers, wireless access points, and endpoints that users have brought into the building and running on the network. Again, whatever you can dig up is gravy." ....The final dimension is to examine your Web presence, including looking for unauthorized but viable Web sites that IT doesn't know about, or potentially harmful, hostile or adversarial sites such as those that may be run by ex-employees or those of competitors that provide links to questionable external sites, or blogs that mention privileged corporate information. "This could lead to a whole series of services, such as vulnerability assessments, patch management, and data forensics," says Dietz.

June 6, 2007: Clay Ryder, president and chief analyst of the Sageza Group, said Sun does have the potential to mount a serious challenge to the other main vendors in this space, but it will take time to build momentum. "But we do have to keep in mind that [the blade space] is still a new market," Ryder said. "We've been talking about it for a while, but the sheer numbers out there just pale compared with racks and traditional island box servers. Certainly [Sun has] the potential to do it [break into the market leadership]. Whether they succeed in getting the market to bite, time will tell. In some ways, Sun and IBM are similar in that they can reach out to different workloads [with the different processors]," Ryder said. "In the case of this announcement for technical computing, what that historically has been is PA-RISC shifting to Itanium, certainly Power 5 moving to Power 6, and UltraSPARC. So it's [the new Sun blade] square on the nose for that market."

June 6, 2007: The strategy makes sense to Sageza president Clay Ryder. "The pricing they are showing, and lack of a proprietary switch is something a mid-size company could buy and grow with," Ryder told "With the 8000 and now this choice in the 6000 series, Sun can go after a couple of different market segments. With the UltraSparc option, companies with older Sun servers can look to the 6000 as a consolidation play. It's going to make very logical sense for some customers," said Ryder.

May 8, 2007: What a difference a decade can make, noted Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group. In 1997, Sun tried to obtain ISO standard approval for Java with itself as the sole contributor. But the ISO wanted the standards they issue to be the result of an industry agreement as opposed to one vendor saying here's it is, said Ryder. Still, the kind of about-face Sun is showing could not happen in 1997. "I'm not sure it could have happened 10 years ago, but I don't think it couldn't have happened until now," Ryder told "In 1997, Linux was not a factor at all. In 1999 it was gaining steam but had a lot of questions around it." In the end, it took time for open source to gain mainstream acceptance, and perhaps a change at Sun as well. "It's certainly compatible with [CEO Jonathan] Schwartz's thinking," Ryder added. "When you think about what Sun has wanted to do, they wanted to make Java ubiquitous. One of the easiest ways to make that happen is to have everyone understand the code and drive it. Now that all of it is open source, that will help to get more interest in it."

May 1, 2007: “Underutilized resources represent a capital expenditure that has a negative ROI,” points out Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group, a California-based market research firm. “If storage is utilized at 50 percent, for example, in some respects that is the same as having paid twice the purchase price for the resource.” “The cost of maintaining a large storage pool requires that storage be allocated based upon a policy of demonstrated need,” Ryder adds.

May 1, 2007: "You can never discount Microsoft because they have the deep pockets to do whatever they want to do. But the question ultimately is: Do they decide to pursue Virtual PC?" says Clay Ryder, president of the market and technology research firm The Sageza Group Inc. "I haven't heard a lot of talk about Virtual PC, but, of course, the same could've been said about Internet Explorer years ago." If Microsoft does decide to jump into the desktop virtualization market in a big way, it would be starting from third place behind VMware and open source firms such as XenSource, notes Ryder. "It's not like Microsoft can just put a stake in a green field and say, 'Oh, come all ye faithful.'"

April 26, 2007: As Clay Ryder, president and chief analyst for The Sageza Group pointed out, to do something like this in the past required two different systems: one for the 3D world, and one for back-end systems like customer databases and billing. "Mainframes are not designed for 3D graphics," he told "They're really meant for transaction processing. If you've got these engines handling 3D stuff, you could support a huge number of players off a single system. You wouldn't put it in a living room for kids to play on, but you could put it in a hotel chain."

April 16, 2007: "You build out first where the money is in business, but at some point once that builds out, where do they go next?" asked Clay Ryder, president of market research and consulting firm the Sageza Group. "It's getting all those workers who have gotten used to a certain level of connectivity to get that at home."

March 7, 2007: The notion of being able to have XML natively might seem ho-hum," said Clay Ryder, president of Union City, Calif.-based research firm Sageza Group. "But if you look at what XML is being used for, it's becoming a very powerful vehicle for information." Ryder added that, along with the ability to host Linux instances on z/VM and allowing Java applications to be run on specialty processors, IBM has realized that it must modernize the mainframe platform. "It gives more ammunition toward exposing the mainframe into more modern environments," he said. "IBM is trying to get rid of that glass house mentality that the mainframe is over there in the corner doing its own thing. The mainframe is just another arrow in the IT quiver. It's special, but it's not segregated from everything else."

March 14, 2007: Lawrence Dietz, the Research Director for the Sageza Group, describes a deal between Microsoft and Best Buy which is aimed at providing small businesses. The deal will enable small businesses to get low pricing on Microsoft Office Live services and access to Best Buy for Business expertise. Dietz points out that the availability of Best Buy personnel is a good thing for small businesses, who will be able to deal with a real person instead of struggling to create a Web presence through automated self-service online services or shrink wrap packages.

March 1, 2007: NFC could well succeed but faces an uphill battle in the U.S., in the view of analyst Clay Ryder at Sageza Group Inc. Fewer U.S. consumers make small, daily payments on transit systems. Phone payments initially would appeal most to people in their early 20s, he said.


February 8, 2007: For starters, VMware rivals XenSource Inc. and Virtual Iron Software Inc. have launched new open-source alternatives, undercutting VMware on price. Also, new processors, such as IBM's Power5 and upcoming Power6 chips, and new operating systems have virtualization capabilities built in, negating the need for some additional software, says Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group, Inc. As virtualization features become part of the hardware or the operating system, software providers will have to offer useful extra features, Ryder says, such as automated new software testing or security patch management. "To really make virtualization work you want to do it so end users access capability, not just specific machines," Ryder says. "That's only going to be possible if you take a strategic approach," he says, noting that virtualization needs to be applied to storage, networking and the introduction of new software, not just servers.

February 7, 2007: Symantec first needs to understand that asset management and endpoint configuration management products are "notoriously complex to sell," Sageza Group analyst Tony Lock wrote in a research brief when the acquisition was announced.

November 20, 2006: “Java becoming more universally available might peak the interest of people who are already doing some open-source things, but it won’t convince people to rewrite all of their RPG applications or anything. The real question is where Java is going to fit in the System i world, and I think it will be more for access to applications than replacing those applications. Java can be a useful mechanism to get into some of those legacy apps,” says Clay Ryder, COO, Sageza Group, Union City, CA.

November 7, 2006: Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder says EMC clearly has been busy and the latest announcements reflect that. "There are many different aspects to the spate of announcements, but there are some common themes that shed light on EMC's view of storage now, tomorrow, and in future," he says. "We're pleased to see EMC not only push the envelope with performance, but also add capabilities that seek to take advantage of its existing and future offerings by providing new software functionality to improve management and operational experience."

November 2, 2006: Q&A: Data center consolidation expert, Clay Ryder

When should a data center manager consider consolidating an existing data center? When it leads to enhanced business, operational or financial performance. Keep in mind that equipment refresh is inevitable in any organization and refresh cycles are an excellent time to consider the value of consolidation to state of the art platforms. While hardware driven refresh can be a more optimal time to plan consolidations, however, software driven hardware obsolescence can demand strategic reconsideration of platform loyalty. Also, consider that power and real estate considerations are becoming key drivers for many organizations data center strategies.

Does it make more sense to consolidate existing space or build out from scratch? It depends upon the situation. Generally most organizations have too big of an investment in existing infrastructure and cannot justify developing a complete replacement infrastructure and then cut over once it is complete. Hence this can be an incremental process. Nevertheless, consolidation is a realistic option that generates benefits for most organizations of any size. Small firms may be able migrate/consolidate onto one server whereas mid sized and larger firms can reduce the number and complexity of all servers deployed. Standardization of platforms, either all at once, or over time has considerable benefit, especially for smaller organizations.

How does a data center manager recoup the initial investments after a consolidation? IT staff often spend a majority of their time and resources simply keeping things running-- and business disruption is a very significant threat. By consolidating and simplifying the infrastructure, personnel can be redeployed to more valuable activities. Now operational costs should be reduced which will help offset the initial investment but over time expenses should be recouped over the life of consolidated infrastructure. Additionally efficiency and simplicity can be used as competitive differentiators.

Is there a different approach to consolidating servers vs. applications? Yes, it depends upon the focus of the initiative. For an organization that is further along the path of service-oriented architecture (SOA), the focus is more likely on applications as opposed to servers. But the creation of virtualized environment with servers will aid the movement to SOA or provide opportunities for application consolidation. This is especially true if there were multiple servers supporting the same specific application workload.

What should be the first steps when approaching a large scale consolidation project? Assess present and future IT needs. Map needs onto an architectural strategy to choose the IT strategy for the next several years. What hardware and software has reached a mandatory refresh? Are there opportunities for optional strategic refresh?

October 30, 2006: Whether APC's products will change because of the merger is the main question for data center managers. Clay Ryder, president of Union City, Calif.-based analyst firm The Sageza Group, said that's unlikely. "I don't think they're going to tamper with the success of the [APC] products because it's probably complementary with the products [Schneider] offers," he said. Ryder added that smaller UPS devices, such as those on the single-server level, will be least likely to be affected

October 23, 2006: “You start to wonder what the deal is. We’ve run through the various cyclical reasons for why things are down. This is the question for the System i going forward: Where are the new sales? This is something we’ve been asking for a long time,” says Clay Ryder, executive VP and COO, Sageza Group, Union City, CA. While System i revenues declined sharply, System p revenues were up 10% year-overyear for Q3 2006. This is an indication that the System p is doing a better job luring new customers to the platform, according to Ryder. “The Unix space is pretty well understood, and is not growing by leaps and bounds overall. The fact that the System p is growing means it’s taking customers from somewhere else. The System i is the same box. It can do all the Unix stuff, plus i5/OS for the AS/400 shops, plus it can do [Windows] integration. It can do so much more, so why does it sell so much less?” asks Ryder.

October 16, 2006: At least one analyst thinks that users should still consider SSD technology. "The platform is really good for certain applications," explains Tony Lock, research director at Sageza. As well as billing systems that need fast database response times, the technology could also find a home in the ILM space, he says. "Any companies looking at ILM might see this, if they need the high performance, as useful for their top-tier storage," he explains. That said, SSD technology is not on the radar of many users. After attracting a lot of interest four of five years ago, the SSD buzz "sort of fizzled away," adds Lock. Whereas flash drives are perceived in some quarters as offering more robustness, other users feel that RAM drives have an edge in terms of performance. But Lock thinks that all vendors face the same issue. "The biggest challenge for them is to promote the technology and get a better awareness of it," he says. For Texas Memory, which is now going after the SMB market, this promises to be a major challenge. "SMBs are extremely price sensitive," explains Lock, adding that the vendor will need to work extremely hard to sell the benefits of the technology.

October 5, 2005: "That's a real driving consideration," said Clay Ryder, president of Union City, Calif.-based analyst firm Sageza Group. "When people bought their system, they bought it because a certain application ran on it. These systems were bought for the applications. If the ISV [independent software vendor] says we support Solaris and we support AIX, and you want that application, those are your choices." IBM's Power processor has virtualization features built into the hardware, eliminating the need for a software layer. That's something x86 chips don't have yet, Ryder said. Sun's UltraSPARC T1 chip, meanwhile, has up to eight cores per chip with four threads per core, an architecture that Sun claims is like a rack of servers on one chip. But Ryder thinks the rapidly advancing chip technology could be contributing to the Unix decline. "As servers have gotten more powerful, the needs of the market haven't necessarily kept up with them," he said. "These are the issues those guys are facing. The capability of the run-of-the-mill stuff has gotten so good that a lot of people don't need that extra oomph."

October 4, 2006: Clay Ryder, president of Union City, Calif.-based Sageza Group, said that simplifying the user experience on the mainframe should be secondary to simplifying the operation of the applications. Ryder added that the $100 million investment is significant. "They're not just putting a pink cover on it and saying, 'Look, it's a Z-pod.'"

September 21, 2006: "Capabilities that were  once considered only in the context of the extreme high end of the server marketplace can now be found in some of the most common of consumer electronics," says Clay Ryder, senior analyst for the Sageza Group. "The enormous computation and graphically intense capability of the Cell BE is just one example of this."

September 14, 2006: "[The announcement] from further illustrates the growing recognition in the marketplace that the patent system has become overloaded and is being abused in the process," said Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group Inc., in Union City, Calif. "The patent process has become burdened by an onslaught of new innovations, some mired in deep technological black magic, some contested and some flat-out silly. Patent examiners, and the economy as whole, need new tools to assist in providing the valuable service of patent registration and examination," he said. And while some of the most popular patents on the site might be for "mid-grip high-power pistols" -- reflecting a universal approach to all patents and not just technology-based ones -- Ryder said the wiki-based nature was another example of how third parties have created discussion points for which they can aggregate comments and supporting documentation regarding current patents. is not limited to a discussion of open source prior art, but rather the much broader scope of patents in general, Ryder said. Ryder did have a few qualms about the star-based ratings system of "While such a visual representation can be helpful in quickly gleaning relevant information, it does not in and of itself come near the depth of technical review warranted in the patent-granting process." Whatever the merits of's ratings system, at least the open source and wiki-based communities are becoming aware of the patent process, Ryder said. "The more eyes out there viewing patents the better," Ryder said. "The higher the awareness and the higher the participation by the community at large means a higher likelihood of patent process reform, and thus the higher overall value of the patents themselves."

September 13, 2006: "We're seeing the move toward multicore processors as one way to increase performance without just winding up the clock speed," says Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group. This more efficient use of the CPU helps reduce heat buildup and electrical consumption, factors of growing concern to companies trying to control data center costs, Ryder says.

September 10, 2006: Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder believes that System i and Windows integration has been underplayed for a long time by IBM and the market overall. "One of the neatest things about the System i is that through the systems adapters and the integrated servers, you can pull a Windows environment under management within the System i context, and that's a wonderful approach for helping manage Windows-based solutions and share the resources of the System i, and a lot of folks have missed out on that. It's a piece of integration I wish IBM would beat its chest a lot more about." If they realized the capability and the benefit, Ryder believes, people would move in the direction of managing many disparate environments on the System i. So why aren't more people doing it? Ryder responds that for many, they don't even really know that this is a possibility. "They aren't aware of the adapters that are out there to bring xSeries or other Intel-based systems into the i environment. They don't know that the Integrated xSeries Server is an option." Echoing the age-old complaint, Ryder doesn't see IBM really pursuing this as an option for its customer base. "I've told them many times that I think they are undervaluing the asset that they have here." In addition, Ryder notes that some people who have been on the platform for a very long time see the iSeries and i5 as boxes that sit in the corner on their own. They love it because it doesn't break, but they don't envision it connected with the rest of the enterprise through consolidation. "That's great for a 1992 approach to the world, but data center management is the bulk of the cost of IT these days, and anything that reduces that cost is a good thing." According to Ryder, most shops are not even looking at integrating the Windows environments with their iSeries or i5 servers. "That's a very simple task that they are not even doing. They don't have to make the decision to move the applications inside the iSeries or i5. They are not even putting in the connector cards so that the iSeries or i5 can see and control the user password databases and things like that. It doesn't require a rip and replace, or even waiting for an upgrade. They could do some of these very incremental sorts of things with just a cable and a card." Will the System i continue to sit in the corner separate and apart from the Windows--and indeed, Linux and Unix--boxes? No, says Ryder. "There's been a huge explosion of storage area networks, Internet connectivity, front-ends to glue onto the applications--all kinds of reasons to bring these systems out of the corner. But as long as the mindset is that the System i is somehow special or different, it will be difficult. It's just silly, though, to maintain any kind of silos unnecessarily." IBM itself is part of the problem, Ryder says, because it seriously underplays the capability of the platform. "I haven't been able to uncover the reason that IBM has not approached this with the System i with more gusto," says Ryder. "It's one of the great mysteries of the industry. Even if companies do not want to consolidate on the System i, they should at least be looking at integrating or providing some more systems management across platforms. Why does IBM make it so hard to find? Is the market so unreceptive to it that the pSeries guys get to do all the cool things even though it's the same exact gear?"

September 4, 2006: According to Joyce Becknell, Research Director EMEA, Sageza Group, “Three industry heavyweights are addressing the storage, networking and security needs of global companies with this new solution. Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Decru and McDATA deliver performance capabilities for virtual tape backup and restore over very long distances combined with encryption to guarantee that secure backups can be performed centrally – or at remote data centers located anywhere in the world.”

August 28, 2006: “The difference is that if they’re an i5/OS shop, they’re unique in the marketplace, so there might not be as much in the way of coattails rubbing on some of this stuff. But they could still derive the same benefits as anyone else on another platform,” says Clay Ryder, executive vp and COO, Sageza Group, Union City, CA.

August 28, 2006: The most troublesome of the banned substances is lead, says analyst Joyce Becknell, research director of the EMEA region for Sageza Ltd. Lead is widely used in solder, in the platings for electronic component wires and printed-circuit foil, and in lead-acid rechargeable cells and batteries. "Lead is the one that's been the hardest to get rid of because it was the most pervasive," Becknell says. "The problem that vendors had is that a lot of what they get when they assemble their servers is created from subassemblies," Becknell says, "and those assemblies are put together by their technology partners, so they come from different companies." The RoHS-compliance process has required IBM to revise worldwide logistics for provisioning its systems and other hardware. Many of the components built into servers come from different regions around the world. "This is nothing new for IBM," Becknell says. "They've had to worry about electronics assemblies because the power is different in the U.S. than it is in Europe. Every country has different languages. This is just part of the process of localization." The resulting changes to circuitry and motherboards won't have any effect on server performance, analysts say. "Customers will not notice anything at all," Becknell says. "The only difference it is going to make ultimately is on the environment and the ability to dispose of equipment more safely, leaving fewer heavy metals and other toxins in the environment. But this isn't having an effect on computing. It won't make a new System i function differently than an older one."

July 19, 2006: "You would hope that commercial pressures would stop any rises kicking in that would not be justified, but you might see some increases in some areas with decreases in others," Tony Lock, European research director for the Sageza Group, told ZDNet UK on Wednesday. "I suspect that even BT doesn't know where it's going to go. It's a learning process for them, and will also be a learning process for the customers. Customers need to get smarter so that they take appropriate action if they don't like what they are offered," Lock added.

July 19, 2006: Yes, dual core is sexy and desirable, said Clay Ryder, an analyst with The Sageza Group, in Union City, Calif., "but many chips have this. Is all that extra cache going to be important outside of specific applications?" Ryder said that "Itanium has, for all objective criteria—except those put forth by Intel and perhaps HP—has been a failure with respect to its initial mission. As for its redefined mission of super-high-end computing, it has been more successful than for general-purpose computing. However, its sales are low, and it is supported by few system vendors. With the release of Montecito, Intel may be able to apply some marketing muscle; however, one does have to ask: If Itanium wasn't all that appealing before, why would it be different this time?" Ryder said he had a "pet peeve" regarding Intel's positioning of Itanium as an industry standard-type processor. "Itanium by no objective criteria can be called an industry standard, as can x86-based chips," he said. "Itanium is a proprietary technology that is controlled by a single company and it does not have any de facto standard trappings such as widespread deployment throughout the marketplace. "It also does not have the blessing of any independent standards committee. Hence, it is an Intel standard (and an HP one for that matter), but by no means is it an industry standard processor."

July 18, 2006: "It's a dog in terms of living up to its original purpose," said Clay Ryder, an analyst at the Sageza Group, a market analyst firm. "They have spent billions of dollars on it. But at this point, it is about saving face. They are in such a deep hole, they can't back out of it."

July 16, 2006: Analyst Joyce Becknell, a research director for The Sageza Group, says competitive pressure is driving the innovation — neither company wants to let the other get a lead in the midrange space. "These new midrange capabilities represent storage [solutions] that meet a lot of people's needs," Becknell notes. "The midrange systems are the sweet spot of this market."

July 12, 2006: Tony Lock, European research director at analyst Sageza Group, says the success of the contract will depend on how well it is managed by Siemens and DWP. ‘Good change management will need to be in place so the definitions are right and there is no scope creep. This will ensure only absolutely necessary changes are incorporated,’ he said.

July 11, 2006: Clay Ryder, president of analyst firm The Sageza Group, Inc., acknowledged that he was impressed with all the computing power Sun was throwing out there. But his main question was: Will it sell? "It just sure feels gold-plated," he said. "Not in a negative sense, but more as in, 'Can I really afford that, and if so, do I really need it?' At the end of the day, it's less about the technology and more about the marketing." Ryder said that there's so much that companies can do in the data center with lower-end servers that he wonders if Sun is pricing itself out of the market by building too much muscle into its machines. He took that argument to Sun's blade offerings, which claim much higher I/O throughput than blades from market leaders IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co. "The question that does come across at some point is would the average business or even above-average business require that level of throughput? Sure, it can go 160 miles per hour, but here the freeways have a 60 miles-per-hour speed limit."

June 21, 2006: Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder is impressed with the implications of the technology. "The fact that IBM and Georgia Tech have created such a screamer in the labs with today's technology shows a lot of promise," Ryder told . "This could be a very important development when you look at the increasing focus on energy savings."

June 21, 2006: "Organizations are looking at a more flexible infrastructure -- including on the mainframe -- and it's great that you can change the infrastructure so rapidly in comparison to the past," said Sageza Group analyst Tony Lock. "The traditional approach to IT is 'don't touch it if it isn't broken.' But with business pressure today, that's not a tenable situation." But if you're not careful, change can be as much an advantage as a risk, according to Lock. "It's really important to have good change management [software] in there."

June 20, 2006: Clay Ryder, president of Sageza Group, a technology market research firm, said the breakthrough should lead to faster processors, but ones that will run far below the top speed demonstrated by IBM. Most improvements in chip speeds over the years have come from shrinking transistor sizes, but IBM's approach is to fine-tune the silicon on the atomic level, meaning that transistors can be designed from the ground up with very specific applications in mind.

May 31, 2006: In a space that is fairly mature, price and cross-platform flexibility are differentiators that can be deal clinchers, especially for an organization with a scattered environment, according to Joyce Becknell, research director for Sageza Ltd. "The days of saying 'we're red and you're blue' are gone in this space," Becknell said. "But SteelEye doesn't have a hardware agenda, and people can have any number of different things. With EMC Corp. and IBM there's a tendency to say, 'how about putting it on nice shiny iron?' "

May 27, 2006: As Sageza Group's Clay Ryder told InformationWeek, "It's a completely different world than when the EU started its investigation. The laptop/desktop aren't the center of attention of consumers ... [But] Microsoft is a wonder target ... The Europeans hate it that such a successful company is American."

May 17, 2006: Clay Ryder, president of Union City, Calif.-based Sageza, said the move, a substantial one, could very well become an example of how other businesses should go about consolidating in the future. But for all the potential positives, there exists an equal portion of negatives. He cited that for three years HP experienced a revenue drop because it did an internal system restructuring and it bogged down its sales systems. "If they do this and pull it off, it'll be a great discussion point. They'll be able to say 'Look what we did.' But if it fails, the PR [public relations] fallout -- they're not going to be able to gloss over it," Ryder said.

May 16, 2006: "EMC sells more volume so they probably have greater flexibility ... I don't want to say EMC played a price war and won. But salesmen are salesmen," said Joyce Becknell, research director for Sageza Ltd. "In essence I suspect EMC talked a much bigger picture," Becknell said. "I'm talking about software and support services, such as helping to work out data implementation, design and architectural blueprints. Being able to say, 'We generally find these methods work.' The [EMC's] amount of intellectual property is pretty deep and pretty serious. CDW might have wanted to just buy some disks, but if EMC brought the big picture to the table -- it's probably why Xiotech lost. People might go for price, [but that can be trumped by]. Look I understand what your company is trying to do -- let's do something."

May 10, 2006: Clay Ryder, president of Union City, Calif.-based Sageza Group Inc., said the integration improvements have been a long time coming, but he didn't predict "overnight it's going to cause System i sales to go through the roof." "If [customers] were considering it, and one of the issues was the connectivity, this would certainly help," he said. "Just because the iSCSI is there, if they haven't bought into the idea of doing central management with the i, it's not going to be there." That being said, Ryder thinks the integration could help make data center managers' lives easier. "For a small business, it goes a long way to reduce one of the complexity headaches in having all these multiple systems," he said.

May 10, 2006: Tony Lock, research director at Sageza, Ltd., said human error and nebulous bookkeeping have been acknowledged by the IT industry, which is leaning heavier towards electronic documentation. The trend will certainly carve a deeper niche for companies in the monitoring space like Cirba, CA Inc., BMC Software Inc. and others, according to Lock. "IT is becoming the heart of most businesses," Lock said. "Being able to show that what you're running is optimized, is absolutely essential. You can't do it on man power alone."

May 8, 2006: Clay Ryder of The Sageza Group, Inc. said, "We applaud HP’s tenacity in seeking a solution to this issue that will not only meet the needs of today, but for a while into the future as well".

May 5, 2006: "The [high-end server] market is definitely contracted and consolidated around a few vendors, and, at the same time, capabilities continue to grow at rates that exceed the growth of the needs of the market," says Clay Ryder, executive vice president and COO of The Sageza Group. "When that happens, overlap becomes inevitable." Regardless of things that might happen, Ryder says he hopes that IBM will do a more proactive job of articulating where the z9 and i5 should go. "The last thing you want to do is confuse customers because confused customers are lost customers," he says. "They don't make a decision or they go to someone else who has an answer that's much simpler."

May 3, 2006: The z9 Business Class's biggest differentiator from the z890 is its increased granularity, according to Tony Lock, a research director at The Sageza Group Inc. in Union City, Calif. A company that starts with the $100,000 z9 Business Class can upgrade its machine all the way to the equivalent of the $1 million z9 Enterprise Class, which was released last year. "It starts off at roughly the same entry point [as the z890] in terms of size and power, but the granularity, to add power and capacity, is much more refined than with previous models," Lock said. "There's a complete upgrade path all the way to the very highest level in the z series."

April 27, 2006: Clay Ryder, president of Union City, Calif.-based Sageza Group Inc., agreed the announcement was good news for a lot of people, but regarding System i, IBM still has its work cut out. "For now, it does appear that Oracle has not killed off J.D. Edwards as many speculated it would (and may still at some later point in time)," Ryder wrote via e-mail. "Continuing to grow support in the vertical is a good thing. More [software] support for vertical needs can translate into enhanced sales opportunities for a platform. The bigger trick right now for the "I" is to get sales up and going again post-product refresh."

April 10, 2006: The uptick was partly because large phone and cable companies -- among the sector's biggest customers -- were more willing to upgrade their networks to handle popular new features such as Internet phone-calling, on-demand video downloads and a huge amount of new cell phone features, said Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group, a valley consulting firm. ``The economy is in better shape than it was in, say, 2002,'' Ryder said. ``When you look at the huge deployments of Cisco and Juniper technology, it's often because SBC decided to upgrade some plant or Comcast is putting new technology in. It gets driven by the service providers. Service providers tend to be impacted by the economy. It all feeds upon itself in a good way. Some of the markets these companies are getting into, they weren't into in the past,'' Ryder said. ``There's more of an opportunity to grow sales. And what investors get all torqued up about is new opportunities.''

April 3, 2006: "Like most armies, the EU's fighting the last war," said Clay Ryder of the Sageza Group. "This would have been an important discussion 10 years ago." But not now. Specifically, Ryder sees the EU's new noise about several features in the upcoming Windows Vista operating system as a case of taking aim at a target of convenience rather than the right mark. "The issue is the [EU's] fixation on a platform with diminishing importance," said Ryder. "[The EU's] arguments are predicated on a platform, desktops and laptops, that will continue to diminish in proportion to the totality of information access devices -- PDAs, phones, iPods, game consoles -- deployed in the next few years. It's a completely different world than when the EU started its [antitrust] investigation. The laptop/desktop aren't the center of attention of consumers. "I'd be far more concerned about what's happening with game consoles than Vista if I were the EU." No matter what the read on the hearings, said Sageza's Ryder, the EU's barking up the wrong tree. "It's digital cell phones, game consoles, music players, and media centers that they should be worried about. That's the stuff that's growing [in use], not PCs," Ryder said. "[But] Microsoft is a wonder target. It has all the political cards stacked against it. It's a Washington [state] company, not a Silicon Valley firm, and it's an American company. The Europeans hate it that such a successful company is American. "And people hate a winner more than a loser. [Microsoft] is a winner, and that p***** off people. The EU would love to stick it to the U.S." Ryder denied he had an ax to grind. "I'm not a Microsoft apologist. The company isn't perfect, far from it. But with Vista, Microsoft asked the EU in advance for feedback. That's the great irony here." "It's difficult at times to understand how this is really going to help the bulk of consumers," said Ryder. "We don’t see equal outrage that most phones can't be taken from one mobile supplier to another in North America. Where is the demand for ease of third-party software installation on the iPod, PDAs, phones, and game consoles? These are the consumer platforms of the early 21st century. "While regulators seem hell bent on defining what Vista will be, they may be overlooking the true growth area."

February 6, 2006: The new pact with IBM "is a way for Freescale to regain some momentum in the market," said analyst Clay Ryder, president of research firm Sageza Group. "This is a way for Freescale to say, 'We haven't stopped making PowerPCs. Apple has stopped buying them, but it wasn't that big of a customer,' " Ryder said. Ryder says the new partnership is good for both Freescale and IBM. "Freescale is a decent-sized firm," he said. "It's someone you would want to have at your party."

February 1, 2006: "This announcement is part about cost and part about performance, but mostly it's aimed at new workloads," said Clay Ryder, president of Union City, Calif.-based Sageza. "Would someone go out and buy a mainframe just to do this? I'm not convinced of that. That said, most of the big guys out there already have zSeries. This is geared toward people taking advantage of what they already have."

January 31, 2006: Clay Ryder, president of Union City, Calif.-based Sageza said that the performance gains were definitely significant, but he could see why IBM wouldn't want to focus on it with so many other features being released. "Every year we expect computers to do more with less. It's a chip upgrade, but it's not a big architecture switch. It's a nice slope on the increment, but it's nothing new," Ryder said. According to Ryder, the new on-demand processing capability for the 520 boxes is a differentiator for IBM with smaller customers and he expects that flexibility to be a selling point. One of the recurring themes in this launch was better integration with Windows. The company is improving the iSeries' integration with Windows for databases and storage management. And that's something Ryder said iSeries pros should get behind. "The iSeries is really good resource for managing Windows. Better integration is great," Ryder said. "Anything that brings the iSeries into the Windows space is a good thing. It's underused by the platform." "Since this announcement was rumored for a long time, the iSeries really took a hit in Q4." Ryder said. "The holiday season makes it a short quarter. Throw on top of it that something better might be available in five weeks and all of the sudden sales guys are calling and no one is answering the phone." Ryder said if Q1 2006 is negative, then it will be time to ask if the upward trajectory of 2005 is over. 

January 29, 2006: Experts agree traditional cooling will no longer cut it. "Intel chips run too damn hot," says Clay Ryder, president of Union City, Calif.-based Sageza. "If you look at performance gains over the past few years, they've come from putting more transistors on a die and pumping up the clock rate. Thermodynamics has caught up with us." According to Ryder, pumping more electricity through a tighter circuit increases pressure and causes friction -- which translates into heat. But liquid has more conductive properties and is more efficient at cooling than air. Ryder says water and liquid refrigerants have pros and cons: Because a refrigerant changes phase from liquid to gas it's easier to pump than water, saving energy on pump efficiency. Water is cheaper and easy to replace. If water leaks it can damage equipment. If your refrigerant leaks, you won't have gallons on the floor, but your rack could burn up anyway. Many rooms already have chilled water lines coming in and facility engineers are familiar with the systems. The plumbing involved with water based systems make them less reconfigurable than refrigerant-based cooling that uses tubing and closed circuit systems.

January 19, 2006: ``In one respect, companies like Sony and other traditional consumer electronics players have an advantage in this market because they clearly understand how to sell products to end users, whether it's the Walkman or the PlayStation, for example,'' said Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group consulting firm. ``Others aren't as brilliant in that regard. Cisco doesn't have a huge retail presence. Of course, they have money and if you apply money you can get different solutions.''

January 17, 2005: Analyst Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group, says education will be key to renewed interest in the iSeries. "The iSeries is often misunderstood, which is too bad," he says. "Once people understand it, they see a lot of potential; but it's a potential that has been undersold for a very long time. If you just try to sell a box — the i will have the least natural resonance [of the eServers] because it's so different. You need to have people who are knowledgeable about the iSeries and its capabilities. It's imperative the sales force be able to articulate that."

December 7, 2005: Joyce Tompsett Becknell, a research director at Union City, Calif.-based Sageza Group, said this type of processor isn't necessarily the best choice for all applications, and that Sun has only ever understood how to sell to niches. "The availability of the applications that people want will really determine [the product's success]," said Sageza president Clay Ryder. "The underlying hardware is far less important or interesting than the business software that a company needs to operate. If the customer is not a Sun or Unix user, just having a cost-effective solution does not warrant retraining and change of corporate strategy."

October 24, 2005: “This quarter’s growth is proof that IBM didn’t do proper care and feeding of the iSeries base ecosystem for a long time. The box was already there, but now the ISVs are interested more than they used to be. IBM is now making the ISVs happy, and ISV participation is the reason for the iSeries growth,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy. In agreement with Becknell, fellow Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder agrees that IBM has worked hard to get in touch with the right parties in the iSeries community, and success there has bred success for the platform. “The iSeries seems to have gotten the wind back in its sails. This is the second quarter of real growth, and a 25% increase in revenue is a good number. Any double-digit growth is good, but 25% is remarkable. The reason for the growth, as I see it, is that IBM has sold more iSeries. It gets down to a matter of execution, and IBM has made the necessary investments and changes to reinvigorate the iSeries line. This growth shows that IBM’s strategy for the iSeries over the last year is paying off,” says Ryder, executive vice president and COO, Sageza Group, Union City, CA.

September 10, 2005: "This is another piece in the expansion of their storage footprint." Clay Ryder, president of the Sageza Group, told "Sun may have realized it can't make the sales in the low-end because it doesn't have the additional storage technologies," which "could have hurt them in a market that is increasingly solution focused." Ryder added that "Sun has been mired in the tar pits for a long time."

September 2, 2005: According to Clay Ryder, managing director of analysts, Sageza, the Alliance looks to be following the mould established by IBM with the formation of, the club it set up a year ago to help push developments around the Power and PowerPC processor families. As Ryder observes, the need for such a club in promoting Itanium development is now becoming crucial. “As much as HP and Intel can talk till they are blue in the face about how Itanium is an industry standard platform, it is simply not,” he said. “In fact, the Power architecture is far more pervasive and is in fact the de facto 64-bit computing platform.” “The ecosystem, which most importantly includes ISVs and other software vendors, must be on board if Itanium is to gain mass market acceptance,” Ryder said. It is fair to say that Intel has already stepped back from earlier claims that Itanium would be remotely `mass market’, but it has to hope that can at least take a major slice of the high end server market. That objective is then both a challenge and an opportunity for applications developers, where software is now the key component in the selling of business solutions, as Ryder pointed out. “People are increasingly not buying technology today but rather solutions to business problems.” There is, however, a 'but’…“If this fails,” Ryder observed, “the hope of Itanium developers to reach a broad market will for all intents and purposes be dashed.”

September 2, 2005: "Overall, it would seem that their Opteron servers are getting some acceptance, but they're certainly not taking the market by storm," said Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder. "We haven't seen a lot of success in the high-end multi-CPU systems, so I'm not sure having another one is going to automatically sell," Ryder said of Sun's move.

September 2, 2005: "Overall, it would seem that their Opteron servers are getting some acceptance, but they're certainly not taking the market by storm," said Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder.

August 30, 2005: "It sure would have been nice to have [Intel's Itanium processor] several years ago," Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder said. "What happened here is Intel seriously underestimated the support the marketplace would have for an incompatible platform and believed 'if we (Intel) say it's industry standard, everybody will come.' Clearly that didn't happen."

July 26, 2005: "The death of the mainframe,'' said analyst Clay Ryder of the Sageza Group, "is prematurely exaggerated.''

July 25, 2005: “There are a few things that are different from six months ago that need to be considered. The first is the i5 Model 595 is out and companies have ordered it. The second is that Power 5 has now been out for a while, and it isn’t new and scary to customers anymore. The third is that IBM execs [Peter] Bingaman and [Mark] Shearer have had time to work out their messaging and get it out to the market, and that is being reflected in the numbers,” says Clay Ryder, executive VP and COO, Sageza Group, Union City, CA. Ryder says this quarter’s growth is significant. “While the 1% increase last quarter was essentially flat, the 10% this quarter is some decent growth. I looked at the channel numbers, and there were fewer products in the channel this quarter (versus last quarter), so IBM didn’t bulk up the channel numbers this quarter to boost the numbers (which says the 10% growth is legitimate). It looks like the iSeries has turned the corner. The question now is whether the growth is sustainable and whether it will continue in the quarters to come? If the answer is yes, then the iSeries has turned the corner. If the answer is no, then it’s an abnormality, and we will be wondering again what tomorrow will bring,” says Ryder.

June 20, 2005: “ is interesting for iSeries users in terms of Power technology being the catalyst for a thriving platform that attracts ISVs. We talked about how you leverage what is being done to make ISVs more interested, and to develop more software for a platform such as the iSeries,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy. “Most of the companies that were announced at are not developing software for the iSeries, but we do need to remember that the iSeries can be the server that holds the information that is accessed by such things as PCs and wireless devices. The notion of open source on the iSeries is also another tie-in, because the iSeries [team in Rochester] needs to decide if the iSeries is going to come into play in this community — not all of that is worked out yet,” says Becknell. “The focus of this conference was at the technology level. It was also focused specifically for the non-IBM partners — the ISVs. IBM is working to get a feeling for the community. It was one of the first times that these organizations, users, analysts, and experts got together. Companies were working together to explain what they do, and some articulated that very well, while others got a bit too technical. We discussed what it means to be on open hardware, and the implications of that.”

June 13, 2005: A third reason iSeries shops would want to incorporate these services into their company addresses the need for companies to become compliant with regulatory mandates. “Workplace Collaboration Services are all about collaborative computing. It’s all about being able to work together. IBM is really pushing regulatory compliance with this suite [meaning that it can be used to help shops become more compliant]. This is a good tool for the iSeries because in many organizations, the iSeries is the management platform that serves as the integrated hub of the IT network. Because of this role, Workplace Collaboration Services can be used to make the platform the home of how the company becomes complaint. It is a nice way to get control of an IT environment, and would make the iSeries more like a mainframe than it already is,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy. Overall, iSeries shops will like the feel of this product because it is integrated, and it is one product offered at one price. “This kind of tool, combined with the iSeries, allows companies to start managing their business from one central platform (even though not all businesses are ready for that yet). In a few-hundred-person company, this is a nice way to add value to the iSeries in a modern way. It gives users one access point for these capabilities that are already integrated into Workplace Collaboration Services. It gives companies better control over their business applications, the ability to integrate them, and the ability to put it all together and get it to work,” says Becknell.

June 8, 2005: "In part two of déjà vu all over again, we seem to be revisiting the browser wars in all their glory," said analyst Joyce Becknell, an analyst with the Union City, Calif.-based Sageza Group. "This time, however, the market dynamics have changed." Instead of Microsoft versus Netscape, Becknell said, where there were two software companies with competing products, there is Microsoft v. Mozilla, which she described as "another chapter in the war of the cathedral versus the bazaar." "On one level, browsers may not seem as exciting as they did in the wild and woolly 90s," Becknell said. "Both products are free and at the end of the day you can accomplish the same thing with either: Accessing significant parts of the network through a standard interface." But Becknell's analysis, while positive for Firefox, attributed a high level of integration as a strong point for Microsoft. "Microsoft is thus able to integrate the product with other Microsoft products; a significant fact in light of their desktop and server dominance throughout much of the market. As collaboration and integration between Microsoft products expands, the ability to integrate the browser becomes more important," Becknell said. In the end, Becknell believes the main battles in this new browser war would come down to features. "The revival of feature wars is more about catering to the needs of a demanding generation of users than it is about cool feature proliferation for engineering and marketing's sake," she said. "We expect that this battle has only just begun and the most important battles remain to be fought."

June 6, 2005: “The Gluecode offering is positioned as an entry-level solution below WebSphere (it doesn’t compete with WebSphere). IBM acquired Gluecode because it fits in shops where WebSphere is too big. Gluecode also has the open source appeal that ISVs like, the type that IBM is trying to recruit. I don’t know how many iSeries customers are going to jump on this solution, because I don’t know how well IBM is going to message it to the install base (there is a lot of messaging going on around the iSeries already),” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group. The overall opinion of Gluecode is a positive one. Even though WebSphere Express ships bundled with i5/OS, “Gluecode will appeal to people who believe in Linux and open source. Developers will like Gluecode because they will be developing open source in Linux. And others who are intimidated by WebSphere will like the nature of Gluecode. Gluecode is positioned between the light version of WebSphere and the full WebSphere product. IBM is now giving users another option for people who want to try new Java-based applications. Gluecode gives users a way to get into a solution at a better price, but still have a wide range of capabilities,” says Becknell.

June 3, 2005: IBM loses cachet with the end of the Apple partnership, but it can take consolation in that it's designing and manufacturing the Power family processors for future gaming consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, said Clay Ryder, a Sageza Group analyst. "I would think in the sheer volume, all the stuff they're doing with the game consoles would be bigger. But anytime you lose a high-profile customer, that hurts in ways that are not quantifiable but that still hurt," Ryder said.

May 27, 2005: The basic blade technology is very similar from manufacturer to manufacturer with few significant differences. Rob Kidd, an analyst at The Sageza Group, says, “The only real differences are management applications, availability, and cost. Basically, a blade is a blade. It’s not about being the best blade on the rackit has to meet tolerances and fit within industry standards. I want to see a total solution; that is, overall cost competitive and overall management competitive.”

May 16, 2005: “The area of IBM that is suffering the most is Global Services. This is a relatively new division of IBM, and it still needs work in how the value and the vision are morphing, and so the makeup, structure, and use of that group will change. To my understanding, most of the cuts are likely to occur in Europe and out of services. There is a feeling that there is too much Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA)-level management, and IBM wants to de-centralize that a bit and put more at the country level. IBM also wants to transfer more people to Eastern/Central Europe because that’s where the heavy growth levels are happening for all of IBM. There are some plants in Greenock, Scotland and other northern cities that are likely to be hit by the layoffs,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy. . “I had a chat with Mark Shearer, Peter Bingaman, and Joyce Bordash in the Palisades, and they are really wound up about the iSeries. They are heavily engaging in publicity through print, TV, and Web advertisements worldwide, and they have a lot of irons in the fire that should help build brand recognition over time. So I think the iSeries is safe. I think the parts of IBM that are in need of reorganization are the services,” says Becknell.

April 25, 2005: One analyst is attributing the “return to growth” to key individuals who have joined the iSeries ranks in IBM this year. “Peter Bingaman and Mark Shearer were brought in to turn things around for the iSeries, and it will take a quarter or two for things to change. When you think about it, 1% is pretty good when you look at how the rest of IBM did this quarter. The fact that there is not another significant loss for the iSeries this quarter means that IBM has stopped the bleeding. They are delivering on the promises that they have made, and are getting customers turned around and ISVs on board,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy.

“One percent growth is essentially flat, but what’s good about that is the slope isn’t negative anymore. Instead of year-over-year change, I would like to see the change in iSeries revenue quarter-to-quarter, but those numbers aren’t often reported. When you compare the iSeries to the pSeries and xSeries, which have been growing like gangbusters, it makes you wonder why the iSeries hasn’t seen that kind of growth. If the iSeries is to succeed and see growth, all of IBM has to realize that it can’t grow by doing the same thing that it has been doing for years,” says Clay Ryder, executive VP and COO, Sageza Group, Union City, CA.

“Last Tuesday’s announcements were a bunch of small details that, when you add them up over time, lead to very important things for the platform. These are the pieces that make the entire system better as a whole. IBM is sticking to their promise that they are going to make the iSeries as good as everything else on the market,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy.

March 24, 2005: According to Sageza Group analyst Rob Kidd, the acquisition enhances IBM's existing architecture by adding a strong compliment to IBM's WebSphere Information Integrator. Ascential's products can move data across a heterogeneous environment by transforming different structures with sets of rules, then loading them into another database. In the bigger picture, Kidd says, the acquisition pushes the industry farther toward the Holy Grail of truly unified data, not just data integration across heterogeneous environments. "What people really want is not integrated data, but unified data," Kidd says. "The industry will move to that in bits and pieces. It's what an IT executive would like to see, [although] we'll never completely get there."

March 9, 2005: Research director Rob Kidd of The Sageza Group called the [Chiphopper] initiative "a no-brainer" for developers to take part in. "This is well-positioned by IBM," Kidd said. "The developer, with fairly little effort, gets a whole [new] market." In particular, he said, ISVs with mainframe packages or applications running on the Sun Solaris platform should be interested. "If I'm a Sun Solaris developer and I understand that my customer base is declining...I need to be hedging my bet." The initiative is well planned, Kidd said, because it offers benefits to two key groups: customers, who may be running heterogeneous environments and therefore welcome an application that works across platforms; and developers and ISVs, who naturally want to offer their applications on as many platforms as possible. Combined with other IBM moves in the marketplace, Kidd said, such as opening a large body of patents to open source, Chiphopper contributes to a certain momentum from IBM. "The nice thing about IBM," he says, "is that...they've successfully managed to figure out how to implement an effective strategy in the Linux environment." With Chiphopper, Kidd says, IBM is "taking potshots at everybody in the market [running] Linux on Intel. They're taking a direct shot at Sun, and a direct shot at Microsoft."

March 7, 2005: “IBM has been focused on big applications and big spending for a while, and they realized that they needed to invest a little lower now. What they are doing is working on getting the money and capabilities to the next level down. So, the smaller ISVs that were intimidated by how difficult it was to find the right person to answer questions now have a real program and structure to get into and have iSeries people to work with directly,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy. “IBM is really putting their money where their mouth is to get funding to the people who want to develop on the platform. $50,000 goes to each ISV that participates, and to a mid-market ISV, that’s significant. IBM is looking to get the mid-market, up and coming, next-generation ISVs interested in the iSeries,” says Becknell. “This is a real statement to the iSeries community. A few years ago, IBM did this with the zSeries, and they were able to look back on the Charter to prove that they stayed committed over the years. Now they are doing the same thing for the iSeries.”

February 2005: "Virtualization is essentially automation of layers of independent IT tasks," says Joyce Tompsett Becknell of The Sageza Group. "It is certainly not just 'marketing crap' although an awful lot of marketing crap is used in the description. It seems vendors are more interested in finding new ways of describing what they do than in trying to make it easy for customers to understand how and where it will help them most. In terms of general virtualization the companies that have the most comprehensive virtualization are EMC's VMWare and IBM. These two companies have a holistic view of virtualization and are implementing it in stages. For now VMWare is the best bet for an Intel-based environment, and IBM owns the mainframe aspects and are bringing those capabilities onto the Power platforms, which include pSeries, iSeries, and and storage (DS6000 and DS8000, although Shark products have these capabilities as well). They also have virtualization in Tivoli and with the SAN Volume Controller and SAN File System products (whatever their current name may be."

January 25, 2005: "In imaging, it looks like a powerhouse," said analyst Clay Ryder of the Sageza Group. "In personal computers, it's OK. In enterprise, it's kind of weak." Some analysts wonder if HP is trying to compete in too many arenas -- from consumer electronics, to printers to big corporate computers and informational technology services. "From the outside looking in, what is HP?" said Ryder, who owns no HP stock. "I'm not sure there is a solid answer under Carly."

January 24, 2005: “It’s not surprising that the iSeries had another bad quarter. Theproblem is not the product, but the market perception of the iSeries — which takes time to turn around. I wouldn’t be surprised if Q1 2005 is the same story. IBM is working to stop the hemorrhaging right now, so I don’t expect that we will see big results in Q1. Q2 [2005] will be a good ramp-up, IBM will build on that in Q3, and then Q4 will be the real teller — the iSeries will be making slow and steady progress,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy. Becknell continued, “The real thing that we need to be focusing on is that IBM is giving the iSeries muscle from the highest levels — Shearer, Zeitler, and Palmesano all see eye to eye and are great supporters of the iSeries. They are sold on publicizing the iSeries, and you can be sure that they are doing their damndest to get the iSeries going.”

January 19, 2005: Clay Ryder, analyst for Sageza Group, believes that it is still a bit early to declare the demise of the iSeries. However, he says, "clearly this will be the year that makes or breaks the platform. If anyone can fix the iSeries doldrums, it will be Mark Shearer. However, this still does not guarantee that iSeries will be able to position itself as a growth platform. It is a shame, since the platform offers so much, and yet it seems like folks are not willing to talk about it." Ryder believes that the move to POWER5 has helped the iSeries. "However," he says, "pSeries seems to be making the killing here, and since it is the same box, it shows that iSeries marketing and differentiation is, at best, adrift. Frankly, in the longer run, it makes more sense for IBM to have a single product line with a variety of software/middleware/hardware stacks available that are purpose-built for specific applications." Is there a chance for a comeback? Ryder believes so. "I am still of the mind that iSeries could have a remarkable renaissance," he says. "However, the time for getting the rubber to hit the road is quickly running out. If we do not see a significant change in the overall sales/deployment picture by 3Qo5, then it would seem that iSeries will indeed fade, with pSeries and OpenPOWER taking the limelight for the POWER-based architecture, and frankly, new workloads."

January 10, 2005: “Mark has been Zeitler’s second in command, and is a big fan of the iSeries. This move tells me that IBM is committed to the iSeries. IBM has a history of putting good executives in charge of troublesome areas to fix the problem, and Mark fits that description. IBM needed to get someone in place from Corporate to give sales and business partners a solid message about the iSeries to take out to the public. The iSeries product is good, it is just the positioning and messaging that need help, and Mark can fight the battles in Corporate and get the message out about the iSeries,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy.

January 5, 2005: Market-watcher Sageza Group in its latest Market Roundup newsletter wonders if Microsoft’s push into the security market with anti-virus and anti-spyware tools will have an impact in any meaningful way. It is a good question. But like Sageza’s Jim Balderston says in his report, Microsoft has to do something, given problems Sageza notes with virus and spyware problems effecting patch installation and other automatic downloads. Sageza says look for Microsoft’s traditional tactics, aggressive pricing. But the tell tale sign in taking on giants like McAfee and Symantec will be execution, write Balderston.

January 3, 2005: “There are going to be bumps in 2005 — the iSeries is not going to take off, but it is also not going to drop off and die. I expect that IBM is going to try some different things in the iSeries market in the coming year — like testing the waters in different geographic markets. I don’t think that a mass marketing campaign will work for the iSeries — IBM can try, but ultimately they need to look at ways that the iSeries can be useful for a specific group, or type, of users. I predict that the iSeries will do better in Europe than in the US in 2005, because we are more willing to try things here in Europe. IBM needs to find successes here in the niches in Europe, and then leverage them in the US. 2005 will be a year of getting their act together [at IBM] and learning how to articulate the value of the iSeries in a brave new world,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy.

December 3, 2004: “This is the big $64 million question. I think that IBM is handling this iSeries and pSeries issue wrong — what they are doing won’t help the iSeries long term. Both platforms sit on the same hardware platform, and the only difference is the software stacks. Because of these somewhat artificial distinctions between the platforms, we here at the Sageza Group believe that what IBM is doing will lead to questions like these,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy. She goes on to say that the questions left in customers’ minds will ultimately cause confusion over which platform to buy. “In reality, there are two very different things going on with these platforms. pSeries customers want to build their own server, and iSeries customers are worried about having an integrated, stable, solid environment. IBM has the software stacks to fulfill both of those needs; they just have to target the users who have those particular workloads,” says Becknell. Reaching users through powerful marketing is the answer, according to Becknell. “All of this does not mean that the iSeries is being ignored or is under-loved; it is purely a marketing strategy. IBM knows that these kinds of questions are being asked about the iSeries and pSeries, and their response is that it is part of the evolution of how they are packaging the Power 5 servers. IBM is working on how they are releasing this to the market, clearing the confusion, and how they are going to get the iSeries out of its marketing rut for 2005. The proof is Peter Bingaman [the newly appointed vice president of iSeries product marketing] and his team,” says Becknell.

November 22, 2004: “One of the values of the iSeries is that it has integrated technology on one server — a Blade server can be attractive in the same sense because it can be used as a management and consolidation tool for multiple Intel servers, ultimately eliminating the large amount of servers and associated management tasks. Also, a Blade server can be set up to share resources with the iSeries through one cable, so a company with a lot of PCs that wants to move to a server approach can do so with a Blade environment that is much less complex,” says Clay Ryder, executive vice president and COO, Sageza Group, Union City, CA.

“An iSeries shop would want to add a Blade server to their environment because they have an application that runs on their iSeries that they want to scale out, or if they have applications that they want to run in a lot of partitions. Typically, the operating systems used for scale-out applications are Linux and Windows,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy. “The Power Blade servers use the same Power5 chip and have a lot of the same hardware capabilities as the iSeries. The applications and tools will look similar to what iSeries users are accustomed to. Essentially, IBM is taking technology that works well in one space [the iSeries platform] and making it available in other spaces [such as Blade servers],” says Becknell.

November 8, 2004: Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder believes that "for potential new users of iSeries, the standards-based world is very important, and without it, iSeries would be a non-starter for most new potential buyers and users."

October 19, 2004 · In the words of Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder, "If IBM does not get serious about reaching out to non-AS/400 people, this program will not live up to its potential, and that would be a shame. There is no reason why the iSeries should not be in the face of every SMB," says Ryder. "Why are you guys sitting on this thing?" Ryder asks IBM management. "There's no reason that the iSeries shouldn't be sold just as aggressively as the pSeries."

October 12, 2004: IBM is signaling a more fundamental shift, according to analysts, with several technology changes that may give it sustainable advantages. "These products change the game in storage," says analyst Clay Ryder of Sageza Group.

September 20, 2004: “OpenPower has all of the hardware features that iSeries users are used to, and provides Linux at a lower price point (on an xSeries level). For iSeries customers looking at Linux, their best bet is still to run Linux in an iSeries partition. But, if they are more serious about Linux, they should go to OpenPower, because it makes Linux available at a better price,” says Joyce Becknell, research director, Sageza Group, Milan, Italy. “Another benefit that iSeries shops will see is the ability to consolidate infrastructure servers (including file and print, Web, and firewall servers) onto a platform that has technology they are already familiar with,” says Becknell.

September 14, 2004: "Two decades ago, the world didn't know a PC from a DEC PDP-11. IBM and Intel changed all that. ... A pivotal right decision was to open the PC architecture not for modification, but for use by all comers who could build a board to fit its backplane. ... With this new announcement [that IBM and Intel will open eServer BladeCenter specs for developers], the dynamic duo of hardware is at it again. If they can convince the third-party, value-add marketplace of the PC-quality potential of the BladeCenter, HP, Sun, and Dell will eventually be forced to accept it and adopt it as the one and only blade architecture." — Harry Fenik, Sageza Group analyst, from "Intel and IBM Open Blade Specs: Lightning Might Strike Twice"

July 26, 2004: Sageza Group analyst Clay Ryder points out the potential impact [of Europe's new software legislation]. "If my company writes the source code for a compound interest calculation," he asks, "could that be construed as infringing against the patents of a company that documented its invention of compound interest calculation? This could be chilling, in essence forcing anyone who writes software that is commercially deployed to have to do a patent search before using it. Sounds like a field day for lawyers." Ryder believes that the effects of the liberal granting of patents both here and in Europe "could jeopardize the free development and distribution of software based upon fear of inadvertent patent infringement. If the enforcement approach was similar to SCO's tactics, not only competitors but anyone who uses offending software would be a target for licensing fees or legal assault." Imagine, Ryder says, "if an ISV or open-source organization were to distribute software that was ultimately determined to be an infringement. The patent holder could probably force disclosure of the customers who licensed/purchased the software and then go after them with demands for patent licensing fees. 'Say, that's a nice little piece of software you have running in your business. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it. For $500 a year we can protect your interests ...' A protection racket for software?"

April 6, 2004: Schwartz's promotion shows major shareholders ''have finally lost patience with (Sun CEO Scott) McNealy and are looking for a less provocative, more practical approach to getting the company back on track,'' says analyst Charles King of The Sageza Group.

April 1, 2004: "IBM as a company has decided that the chip isn't the be all and end all of a computing system," said Sageza Group analyst Charles King, who attended the event. "It's the customization of the system that is more important than the type of chip that's driving it. I think IBM is trying to get the same open system leverage they use in their Linux models and push that into the hardware space," he said. "If this succeeds, it will be the first really open, open system."

March 31, 2004: "IBM is creating a computing ecosystem that can be pushed up or down. I can't really think of anyone else who is doing that," said Charles King, research director of infrastructure hardware for Sageza Group Inc. "Intel has taken a very different approach, of creating specific processors for specific markets." King said he expects IBM's strategy to be a successful one, and sees the Power architecture as an emerging industry standard. He also noted that IBM's plans to open its development process gives the company access to a broader talent pool than is available to more proprietary designers. "You get smart people to help you, and you see where that leads," King said.

March 29, 2004: "I don't think it's an overstatement to say the mainframe has been the engine that has driven the business-computing evolution," says Charles King, an analyst at the Sageza Group, a technology research and consulting firm. "They set the table for what has resonated for a long time."

March 18, 2004: Though the iSeries may not suit every e3000 customer, in the end the platform should prove very enticing to many of them, says Charles King, research director for Sageza Group. "If you’ve got a customer who has some Windows servers, and is experimenting with Linux, and could profit from moving to OS/400 for some of their business applications, iSeries offers them some really interesting opportunities there that HP does not," he says. "There’s no HP product that really does what the iSeries does."

March 18, 2004: According to Clay Ryder, executive vice president with the Sageza Group, Union City, Calif., telecommunication companies are no different from other businesses, in respect to getting caught up in sever sprawl. Now that much of that equipment is aging, they're looking for ways to consolidate in order to cut costs. "This may offer a good enough solution that the companies will say 'let's consolidate,'" he said.

March 16, 2004: “This is the first workstation based on the Opteron from a top-tier company,” said Charles King, research director at the Mountain View, Calif.-based Sageza Group. “The most interesting thing about the IntelliStation is that since it's the first system [with the Opteron] offered globally, it offers the 32-bit to 64-bit mobility that servers now do, but in the workstation market,” said King. “The fact that you can run both levels of apps offers users some additional flexibility.” “I'm not surprised that IBM was the first to announce an Opteron system in the technical computing space,” said King. “IBM has had its biggest uptick in Opteron servers, and this is a sophisticated add-on to that environment.”

March 4, 2004: Charging higher licensing fees for each upgrade is standard practice. And unlike other market segments, pricing is convoluted, said Clay Ryder, executive vice president with the Sageza Group, Union City, Calif. "Mainframes have always had a special place in the pocketbook of the vendor," Ryder said. Ryder said that the mainframe is the only server segment where users pay for the hardware but don't have the right to use it. "You have to pay for usage and a series of licenses," he said. The cost, he said, is predicated not by usage but by the value of the applications running on the mainframe -- an assigned value determined by the software vendor. A database might have a higher workload charge than a Web server, for example. "It's about extracting value from the value of the system," he said. The idea of charging more based on value is a pricing strategy that dates back to the 1960s, when IBM dominated the market, Ryder said. In some respects, he said, it makes perfect sense. The more you're able to do with a system, the more you should have to pay. "This is not new in the world of pillaging the customer" said Ryder, noting that railroads used to charge customers transporting goods more for certain items -- a loaf of bread would cost more than a sack of flour. "This is not something IBM thought of to screw the market. This is a pricing mechanism that has been used for a long time." That's why, he said, IBM's recent announcement that it would eliminate some workload charges with the z990 T-Rex mainframe was such a breakthrough. "That was one of the very rare times when there's been a departure from this workload-type charging," Ryder said. A signal of things to come, perhaps, but Ryder said that major change isn't likely to happen anytime too soon. There are tremendous profit margins on the mainframe, and IBM can throw the software in for free and still make out at the end of the day. So it's not completely surprising that IBM is offering better deals than its competitors to get customers to stay or move onto the mainframe, Ryder said. But, he said, coming up with a wildly different pricing model would be a shock to the system, and IBM isn't likely to do it. "I think we're going to see evolutionary change rather than revolutionary," Ryder said.

March 4, 2004: Charles King, an analyst at Sageza Group Inc., said it made little sense for any company to purchase SCO's license. "The IP [intellectual property] that SCO claims has still not been proven or upheld in court, so what are you buying?" he said. "As far as I can see, it's the equivalent of giving the neighborhood bully 25 cents so he doesn't steal your lunch next week."

February 25, 2004: IBM recognizes that, as huge as it is, it can't possibly meet the specific vertical needs of the businesses it is trying to attract, said Charles King, an analyst with Mountain View, Calif.-based Sageza Group. IBM's software strategy is that ISV specialists are the ones that understand those users in a way that it can't. By partnering with ISVs and resellers, who are making sure their products run optimally with IBM hardware, IBM can produce 70% to 80% of the solution and leave the important details to the ISVs. "What users get is the difference between a suit off the rack and a finely tailored suit," King said. "There are countless numbers of users that get by with an off-the-rack solution, but it also means they'll use a fraction of what the solution offers. Ideally, with IBM-backed ISVs, users are more likely to go out the door with a finely tailored solution." IBM is sending out a message to the ISV that they're paying attention to the customer, King said. "IBM is saying: 'As big as we are, we're not smart enough to do it all, but we are smart enough to work with people who can help you do it," King said. "What better IT big brother can you have? But, at the end of the day, the letters 'IBM' will be on the outside of the box."

February 18, 2004: "AMD is potentially the biggest loser, but it has gained a perception of being ahead of Intel, which should help it in corporate markets," said Charles King, analyst at Sageza Group, a US technology research consultancy.

February 18, 2004: The competitive position between both the server vendors and chip vendors will probably come down to performance, said Charles King, research director at The Sageza Group Inc. in Mountain View, California. Opteron's performance figures have delighted its partners and customers, and while Intel will probably put out a competitive product, customers simply don't know right now where Intel's chip will stand, he said. Most of the vendors will probably position the Intel chip as a product for high-performance computing or a limited number of business applications, King said. This is in contrast to what Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to do with Opteron, which will become the linchpin of its strategy to sell more low-end servers into the business market. In a market as new as 64-bit extensions technology, all the careful positioning of the vendors might fall by the side of the road once customers discover what they can do with the technology, King said. "Every vendor's been bitten by customers who refuse to do with their server equipment what the server vendor wants them to do," he said.

February 17, 2004: "Microsoft's desktop business is both remarkably dominant and curiously vulnerable," says Charles King, research director at the Sageza Group.

February 16, 2004: "I would expect Intel to be very careful about positioning Xeon and any sort of 64-bit extensions in a way that cannot be perceived as a threat to Itanium," says Charles King, an analyst with The Sageza Group. "It will be interesting, though, to see exactly what's in the box. AMD has some patented goodies under the hood that only they own and it will be interesting to see what kinds of goodies Intel is planning. Just because they'll both be hybrid x86 chips doesn't mean they'll be the same."

January 30, 2004: An eight-processor system could give Sun a leg up over early Opteron enthusiasts. "I think they're trying to steal a bit of thunder away from IBM," said Sageza Group analyst Charles King. King, though, believes Opteron is something of a sideshow. The bigger battle between IBM and Sun will likely take place later in 2005 when Big Blue's coming Power5-based servers go up against Sun's new UltraSparc IV servers, he said.

January 14, 2004: "Xeon has been something of a double-edged sword for Intel," said Charles King of the Sageza Group analyst firm. "Xeon keeps scaling. They keep on doing performance bumps. It's a great product. It's offered both vendors and customers some options that I'm not sure Intel really expected when they went out of the box with the thing. At the same time, the relative performance has been so significant that I've wondered at times whether it's been an impediment to customers moving over to the Itanium platform." King believes IBM has been "pretty savvy" with its Intel server development in recent years. "IBM tends to be pretty systematic about the way it enters markets. The fact that they're getting in would suggest they believe the market is there," King said.

January 13, 2004: [Microsoft's] anti-Linux ad campaign may come off as "thin and shrill," says Charles King, Sageza Group research director. "Their challenge is to make an argument as to why they are such a good thing, not why Linux is such a bad thing," he says.

December 30, 2003: Sageza Research Director Charles King recently told he expects EMC to acquire database and directory components.

December 23, 2003: Sageza Research Director Charles King says it seems EMC and both HP and IBM are charting two distinct courses for utility computing. "It seems to me over the last year to 18 months, IBM, HP, and Sun have been trying to frame the argument that heterogeneous IT management works best as a systems vendor play and that you need to have someone's fingerprints from the front of the data center to the back-end," King told "Frankly, that argument has been resonating in the market, putting pressure on EMC, EDS, and even Dell to an extent because they don't have the breadth or depth to explain why best-of-breed systems are relevant in an increasingly componetized world," King continued. "The question surrounding EMC became, 'What do you need a storage specialist for?' "

December 16, 2003: The VMware acquisition is intended to give EMC a message around storage virtualization, a domain in which EMC rivals IBM and HP already play. "This is an area EMC hasn't gotten into before," says Sageza Group analyst Charles King, who sees an opportunity here. "Intel-based servers are a a hot area, and they're VMware's primary area. EMC wants to create end-to-end management solutions that will work with its storage and port its storage into Intel-based environments from any vendor." On a higher level, EMC's acquisition strategy is all about letting the company "put their fingers in the front end and the back end," particularly in Intel-based environments, according to King. What this amounts to is "a notion of centralized IT infrastructure management in which storage is the center," according to King. Management is the key word here, because it means software applications rather than devices. With the hardware side of storage increasingly commoditized, it makes sense for EMC to get deeper into software.


December 10, 2003: "IBM has shown a coherence of vision and execution in capturing a sizable part of this market," says Jim Balderston, tech industry analyst at The Sageza Group.

December 4, 2003: According to The Sageza Group, "Relative to rival proprietary solutions, Linux is providing a cost-effective and stable environment for deployment in small and medium businesses, while ISV support for desktop, middleware and e-business is impressive and growing.

December 3, 2003: While IBM says this assault on EMC is an "audacious move" that "couldn't come at a worse time for EMC," Charles King, research director for the Sageza Group Inc., believes IBM is being a bit melodramatic. "EMC has been doing well over the past year, expanding from its traditional enterprise base via its Dell alliance and getting traction with products like Centera and its ILM strategy," King said. However, according to King, IBM could enjoy some success in stealing customers away from EMC. "[It's] a definite maybe. IBM, after all, has ongoing relationships with these customers, so doors will open pretty readily for them. In addition, they have the option of leveraging storage as part of greater system sales," he said. "Those are two big pluses, along with the fact that by creating this program they're offering their channel and business partners ways to make new sales." King said the tough thing for IBM will be making a compelling argument for why customers should abandon an established storage vendor that many have worked with for years, and who continues to improve its product lines. "In short, it should be easy for IBM to get in the door, but how compelling customers will find their pitch remains to be seen," he said.

November 24, 2003: Analyst Charles King of Sageza Group thinks it's "fair to say" that commoditization has set the stage for a price war in the storage market. "The same kind of technology that allows people to get increasingly large drives in their home PCs is enabling the creation of larger disk arrays." Sageza's King points out that the acquisition isn't completely new territory for EMC; rather, it fits an existing direction for the company. "In the last few years, storage has moved away from offering huge arrays to the recognition that businesses are more interested in intelligently using and storing documents," he says. "Documentum is complementary to what EMC has been doing with Centera."

November 20, 2003: Charles King, research director with the Sageza Group, Mountain View, Calif., doesn't doubt that giving the call center worker input into the development of call flow is a strategically good move, but he questions how it will all work. "I think what it presupposes is that companies will have enough expertise and resources to use this," King said. "I think the ability to use this adequately will differ radically from company to company." Still, Garr contends that the strategy will work, and he said IBM will encourage developers to download the code and pass it along to the front line. King agreed that the tools will offer call centers a way to build applications that are better suited to their specific needs. It will also allow call centers to offer services that are significantly different from those of their competitors. "It's an interesting strategic proposition," he said.

November 11, 2003: According to analyst Charles King, research director at the Sageza Group, the announcement speaks to a basic challenge concerning business information. Conventional wisdom states that business information has intrinsic value, he said. However, as data continues to flood into enterprises, it has become increasingly apparent that access to data is a prime factor in determining just how valuable and useful business information is. "Given the sheer volume of data involved, this is a particularly critical concern in mainframe environments," King said. "By helping to ease access to multiple data storage formats, DataMirror is addressing this problem and aiding companies in wresting the maximum value from their archived data."

October 29, 2003: "This is really a testimony to the depth of IBM's product set, that they can reach into the bag and take this out," said Charles King, research director of Sageza Group, Mountain View, Calif. "You can look at this as a potential new product, but it's also a value-add for current IBM customers who already have it installed."

October 17, 2003: The fact that Sun had to hold up shipment on most of its servers raises questions about the quality control at the company, said Clay Ryder, a vice president at research firm The Sageza Group Inc. in Mountain View, Calif. "I think it really gets down to the why," he said. "If it was due to bugs across a broad spectrum of the products, you have to wonder what is happening to quality control." The bigger question for Sun, Ryder said, is whether the company, whose revenue was over $5 billion per quarter three years ago, will again find a way to grow. "A publicly traded company like Sun has got to demonstrate growth in order to maintain investor confidence," he said. "Sun has not had the best return over the last couple of years."


October 7, 2003: Microsoft's first challenge is to migrate as many of them as it can to the beefier Windows XP machines needed to tap into all the clever new features in Office 2003. "Microsoft is trying to protect and maintain the crown jewels," says Jim Balderston, analyst at tech research firm The Sageza Group.

September 29, 2003: "It's a huge economic driver for the U.S.," said Charles King, research director of the Sageza Group Inc., in Mountain View, Calif. "IBM is seeing more and more opportunities there," he said. "They're starting to tailor some of their enterprise-class systems and offer them cheap enough so that [SMBs] can afford them. A few years ago, it would have been out of reach." King said he doesn't buy the argument that IBM will be unable to adapt to the SMB market, since the company has spent more than four years demonstrating that it can play successfully anywhere it wants to. "I think IBM's strategy of providing offerings like WebSphere and DB2 as development environments and opportunities for ISVs is workable in the SMB space," he said, "though the penetration of the company's Express offerings will be the key to that." And despite the hype the competition between IBM and Microsoft gets, experts say they're not pure rivals. In fact, experts don't envision either player as being dominant in the SMB space. "While Windows has a huge influence among SMBs on the desktop, they are merely one player on the back end and not invincible," King said. According to Haff, the idea that IBM is in competition with Microsoft is not really accurate -- they are and they aren't. It's complex, he said. "Microsoft is competing with iSeries and, of course, with Linux," he said. "But there are Intel servers being sold with Windows, too. IBM is both a competitor and a partner with Microsoft." King said the real opportunity for IBM lies in how successfully it can work with its ISVs, which have a huge penetration in the SMB market. "If IBM treats its SMB ISVs well (and the company has a history of dealing even-handedly with ISVs), they could do very well in the SMB market over time," King said.

September 23, 2003: Analyst Clay Ryder, executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Sageza Group Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based market research firm, said that while the concept behind infrastructure simplification is nothing new, the technology to do it has now matured to the point where it no longer makes sense to use a multitiered approach to computing. "The concept isn't different," he said. "It's the execution. There will be no more football fields of server farms. This is about dynamic resource allocation."  For many shops, it will be the solution to what is now an "operational nightmare in the IT environment," he added.

September 22, 2003: To date, "a small number" of companies have taken steps to install technology that can shift data flows between servers on an as-needed basis, said Clay Ryder, an analyst at The Sageza Group Inc. in Mountain View, Calif. Further adoption will likely be driven by server consolidation efforts and competitive comparisons, Ryder added. "If Nike does it and cites great cost savings, then Reebok's going to notice," he said.

September 18, 2003: To date, "there's a small number" of companies that have taken steps to simplify their IT infrastructures and redirect data flows on an as-needed basis, said Clay Ryder, executive vice president and chief operating officer at The Sageza Group Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based market research firm. Further adoption of these techniques will likely be driven by industrywide server consolidation efforts and competitive comparison, said Ryder.

September 17, 2003: Takashi Sasaki, assistant director for information planning at the [Nissan Diesel], says moving to industry-standard hardware will let Nissan Diesel cut its infrastructure costs by 70%. Clay Ryder, an analyst at Sageza Group, says this is a significant win for IBM. "It's going to be showcase account," he says. The servers will connect to a database powered by IBM's DB2 software.

September 17, 2003: To date, "there's a small number" of companies that have taken steps to simplify their IT infrastructures and redirect data flows on an as-needed basis, said Clay Ryder, executive vice president and chief operating officer at The Sageza Group Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based market research firm. Further adoption of these techniques will likely be driven by industrywide server consolidation efforts and competitive comparison, said Ryder. "If Nike does it and cites great cost savings, then Reebok's going to notice," he said.

September 5, 2003: "The problem for IBM is that it can sell mainframes, Unix servers and initial Intel servers, but the subsequent Intel servers are bought from the likes of Dell," said Joyce Thomsett Becknell, research director for Europe at analyst firm Sageza. Tompsett Becknell argued that IBM's strength in R&D and support services could help it to differentiate itself from its server rivals. "HP is choking its R&D in favour of volume, and Itanium and Linux is its route. But Dell will do that too as soon as there is a big enough market, and Dell will always win that game - it is the equivalent of the discount office supplies business," she said. "But it is one thing buying servers on price, it is another to get them working together, and this is why IBM is focusing on the channel to deliver support and services at the local level, where it is required." However, Tompsett Becknell said that IBM's price cuts will make more buyers consider its servers. "The aim is [then] to get across the idea that local support and services are available as part of the purchase at no extra cost," she added.

September 2, 2003: Making the quantum leap is easier said than done. Myles Suer is a senior industry analyst for the Sageza Group of Mountain View, California. "The older the company, the harder the transition is going to be," he says. But he feels companies that complete the transition "will establish a clear market advantage between themselves and lagging competitors." "Rip and replace" for many is not the optimal choice. Unlocking and enabling the existing application can achieve the desired benefit. Suer elaborates. "You can build on top of the legacy applications to bring them to the Web. By enabling design at the business logic level, companies can have their cake and eat it too--especially if the people who understand the legacy applications can turn them into Web services." Suer reports IBM has built relationships with 90 of the largest independent software vendors as well as middle market players. IBM is extremely strong in the market assessment of the Sageza Group. Suer underscores the need for business transformation. "We are on a road map where enterprises will get tremendous compelling benefits from business processes that before couldn't happen. If the integration strategy is a winner, stove pipe software won't be a loser."


August 19, 2003: "Dell really wants to be seen as an enterprise server vendor. They've done quite well at the low end. But when you get into the 8-way boxes, you get into an area that requires a great deal of research and development expense to make it work right," said Charles King, research director at Sageza Group. "It's just not in their DNA." But that said, the latest quarterly revenue numbers serve to validate not only Dell's business model, but also its execution on that model. According to its fiscal second quarter results, Dell's enterprise business revenue grew 21 percent to about $1.8 billion, while unit shipments rose 21 percent. Dell's success in the server market can, of course, be attributed to execution but is also, in part, attributable to the growing popularity and power of clustering smaller systems, which have become sophisticated enough that they can take on the workload of stand-alone boxes with multiple processors, King told "The argument is you can make two 4-way servers or four 2-way servers do everything that an 8-way server does," the analyst explained.

August 18, 2003: Much of the credit, analysts agree, goes to William M. Zeitler, the senior vice president whose polished speech and carefully coiffed hair belie a willingness to break with decades-old traditions and impose drastic change in IBM's Systems Group. "He's one of those guys who looks like he'd be profoundly uncomfortable without a suit and tie on. He looks like a conventional IBM guy, but he's not bound by conventional thinking," Sageza Group analyst Charles King said.

August 11, 2003: "The challenge with HP is they want to be so many different things. They want to be competitive with Dell but they also want to keep up with IBM. It's a challenge for HP because they are playing on so many different fields," said Charles King, research director at Sageza Group.

August 11, 2003: IBM declined to say how much the [Lego] deal is worth, but Sageza Group analyst Charles King estimated that the figure is in the millions of dollars. "Especially with companies like Lego, with a massive shift in transactions…toward the Christmas season, it makes an enormous amount of sense to call this stuff up, use it for as many days or weeks or months as they need it, then turn it off again," King said.


August 6, 2003: Many firms are selling tools and services to ease custom software development. The goal is to build on existing programs rather than rewrite them entirely, says Myles Suer, a Sageza Group analyst. "Suddenly, less technically astute or sophisticated people can design software," he said. "We're in the middle of a major change for the industry." The shift to Web service standards may mean big changes for the software market. In addition to business users tweaking their own software, analyst Suer says, large systems integrators such as Accenture Ltd. (NYSE:ACN - News) and EDS Corp. (NYSE:EDS - News) will do more custom software work for clients. He says demand will shrink for integration software firms such as Tibco Software Inc., (NasdaqNM:TIBX - News) WebMethods Inc. and Vitria Technology Inc. (NasdaqNM:VITR - News) That's because the role of integration software, which lets different programs and languages interact, will be handled by Web service standards. As a result, some integration software vendors are already repositioning themselves as makers of software to manage business performance and processes. "These changes are a significant mind shift for the whole software applications business," Suer said.


August 5, 2003: "Say what you will about Novell's problems, the fact is the company retains a dedicated, enthusiastic user base," says Charles King, Sageza Group research director.

August 5, 2003: SCO's price tag is too high, according to one industry analyst. "That seems pretty steep to me," said Sageza Group Inc. analyst Charles King, referring to the $700 ballpark figure that SCO had previously mentioned. "If they made this thing so cheap and so easy that it made more sense to pony up a few thousand bucks and pay it, and not think about it anymore, they might actually generate some interest in it." By pricing its Linux license fee in the same range as its UnixWare license, SCO may prompt Linux users to demand that it first prove its allegations, King said. "The enterprises that are deeply invested in Linux are going to pull out their slide rule and say, 'OK, prove it'."

July 29, 2003: Sun's strategy to continue its development of the UltraSparc processor and Solaris makes a lot of sense for Sun customers, says one analyst. The real challenge is explaining to the broader market why it makes sense for them to abandon whatever products they have and move to Sun, says Sageza Group research director Charles King. "Sometimes the effort to be all things to all people is fraught with more dangers than focusing on what you do best," which in Sun's case is making high-end Unix systems. While server vendors are compelled these days to have a strategy for the low end of the market, King isn't convinced that such a strategy makes sense for Sun. "The margins are thin, and Sun's got other problems to address," he says. In all, King sees Sun's holistic approach to the data center as a logical strategy on paper, one designed to ensure the high performance and interoperability of complex systems. "But the market doesn't always act logically," he says. "Maybe it's not the right business model at this time."

July 13, 2003: Jim Balderston, an analyst at the Sageza Group, Inc., a Mountain View IT- industry market research firm, said bulk e-mail businesses, big or small, will have to make some tough decisions. "The problem is that being associated with spam now is negative to your company brand," he said.

July 11, 2003: Sun's agreement can be seen in a similar light, according Harry Fenik, president of industry consulting firm The Sageza Group Inc. "I would wager that Sun saw this as an opportunity to bolster a comrade in arms," Fenik said. "From Sun's perspective right now, the big enemy is IBM." The licensing deal with Sun is important because it provides SCO with the funds to prolong its lawsuit with IBM, and not because it indicates that Sun recognizes the validity of SCO's legal claims, Fenik said. "I don't think it's meaningful at all," he said. "They made a buy vs. build decision [for Solaris x86 Platform Edition] to get access to a bunch of drivers for contemporary versions of Intel hardware."

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June 12, 2003: Analyst company Sageza was much more bullish about PeopleSoft lying in the arms of Larry. "If Oracle fails, then PeopleSoft would be able to build from its Number Two position and use the DB2 trump card to demand better terms whenever Oracle came calling with its tin cup extended," write analysts Myles Suer and Jim Balderston. "But if Oracle is successful, it could gain access to a near captive relationship with the largest enterprise software vendor, which would likely cause many a chagrined face at IBM and Sybase given their strong relationships with PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards."

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May 22, 2003: "There's a good chance [Tadpole Computer will] find a market for this," said Charles King, an analyst at the Sageza Group. "A laptop at $3,000 is a much easier sell" than one for $20,000.  King says the big boys might stay out of the market, for now. "The thing that might keep the big guys out of this market is the high development cost," he said. "They may just leave it to a niche player." If the big guys enter, though, Tadpole's options might be limited. "At that point you either find a partner or get acquired," King said.

April 24, 2003: Charles King, an analyst at Sageza Group Inc. in Mountain View, Calif., said Intel's move to improve 32-bit performance on Itanium is particularly notable since it comes during the week of the Opteron launch. "That probably woke them up a little bit," King said of positive reaction to the new and flexible AMD line in the marketplace. "I think Intel is going to be perceived ... [as] trying to play catch-up or basically trying to salvage what may have been a PR coup on AMD's part" in gaining Opteron endorsements from major partners including IBM and SuSE Linux.

April 1, 2003: Being included in the project is something of a coup, since there are plenty of companies touting their technology as the next big thing, said Charles King, research director of market researcher The Sageza Group in Mountain View, Calif. "There certainly have been a lot of pretenders to the throne," King said. "The CERN project provides a really interesting crucible of sorts...just being involved in the project is going to be validating to a certain extent." Plus, King said, IBM and the other participants could not ask for a better testing ground. "It's one thing to do it in your own test lab," he said. "It's another thing to be used by a third party in a pretty hard-core environment where (the technology) is being pushed to its limits."


March 31, 2003: Charles King, an analyst with the Sageza Group Inc., in Mountain View, Calif., said the initial beneficiaries will be those already using IBM's mainframes. "It gives an entry point of sorts for IBM mainframe customers into grid deployments, if that's something they've been thinking about," King said. "It's taking old school technology and giving it new school deployments." He said there has been some hesitation by enterprises in completely embracing grid computing because of security issues, something that mainframes are known for. They also have such features as self-managing and self-healing capabilities, King said.


March 31, 2003: Sun's move to embrace other Linux distributions is also likely to save the company on development costs. "It's a tough market right now and you have to save money where you can," says Charles King, research director for the Sageza Group. "There was some justifiable scratching of heads" when Sun said it would sell it's own Linux, King says. A Sun Linux would given Sun control of that operating system, an approach that King calls "antithetical" to an open-source strategy. Despite the attention Sun is paying to Linux and x86 hardware, King doesn't think this is watering down the company's primary focus: Sparc-based processors and the Solaris operating system. Rather, "it's a measure of rationalism and realistic thinking," he says. "If their customers are going to buy Linux or x86, they may as well buy them from Sun." The alternative is to have Hewlett-Packard, IBM, or some other vendor sell Intel-based servers to Sun customers looking to run Linux. "The next time HP or IBM come around, they'll try to sell the customer something else," King says. "Sun doesn't want them to get their toe in the door." Although IBM and HP have survived the economic downturn with fewer bruises than Sun, all of their strategies are converging. Neither HP nor IBM considers itself simply server vendors. "They're recognizing that a holistic attitude is necessary for highly complex computing environments," King says. "Sun has finally recognized that there's a place for low-end boxes and that they're every bit as viable as the high-end market Sun's been focused on," he says. "You may have based your company and made a lot of money selling your customers Lincoln Town Cars, but now they want economy cars, and you'd better listen."

February 21, 2003: Clay Ryder, vice president and chief operating officer at research firm Sageza Group, said the newly amped server is nice, but may be shortlived, as things often are in the evolving server landscape. "Yes, the P4+ should make for a screaming server, but these kinds of leapfrog leads are often shortlived," Ryder told "Nonetheless the new box is pretty impressive and is important as it demonstrates that the power architecture still has quite a bit of performance yet to come.

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February 4, 2003: "IBM has stripped Lotus of its client/server heritage to expose Notes as a collaboration platform," Sageza Group analyst Myles Suer said.

January 4, 2002: As users revamp disaster recovery plans, one of the sticking points will be the issue of high availability to disaster recovery in multitiered, distributed, and complex environments, said Charles King, an analyst at Sageza Group in Redwood City, Calif. "At some point, the simple efficiency of having humans manage in large multiterabyte environments becomes very difficult," King said.

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January 2, 2003: “The market’s going through a shakeout,” said Charles King, a Sageza Group analyst. “That's causing everyone to refocus their strategies. It’s looking like a weak recovery for most server manufacturers through 2003. A lot of companies overspent on servers when tech’s popularity was at its peak. They still have more than they need.” Some of those systems are getting old, which King says might give some companies pause. “Servers are the backbone of the office workplace,” he said. “It’s a vital piece of equipment that really serves as the workhorse for all of corporate computing.”

December 11, 2002: The market for Windows emulation tools today is small, but given customer unhappiness over Microsoft's licensing policies, it could grow quickly. Today, these emulators really illuminate the power of the Office suite, said Charles King, research director at the Sageza Group, a Mountain View, Calif., consulting firm. "It speaks to the fact that no matter what people think of Microsoft in the long term, and no matter what Sun [Microsystems] has said about StarOffice, there is not an Office productivity suite that matches [Microsoft] Office," King said. The idea of getting out from under the thumb of Windows is attractive, King said. But what happens to the documents that are stored in Excel? "You are still under the thumb of Office."

November 11, 2002: Charles King, senior industry analyst for Mountain View, Calif.'s Sageza Group, said the play is more evidence of Big blue moving technology from the higher end down to its midrange and low-end servers, providing users with serious power enhancements at much more reasonable price points. "It's a pretty interesting strategy," King told "Whenever you're dealing with proprietary technology, it's natural for vendors to get as much mileage out of that technology as they can. I compare it to the Rolls Royce analogy. The Volkswagen bug will get you there, but the Rolls is a much better ride. They're saying 'We have the Rolls Royce products, now what can we do to make our VW more comfortable, roadworthy, and faster to get more value.'" King said IBM has developed a half dozen p650s with different configurations to please a vast majority of customers. "You'd expect that kind of customization in a lower end product, but when you're talking about servers that cost $30,000..." King said. "These are geared to sell in volume. IBM is saying 'here is our product out of the box and if you need the special stuff we can do that'."

August 19, 2002: They're still in the first three months of this thing, so in some ways the kind of moves HP has been doing are the ones you would expect, says Charles King, senior analyst with the Sageza Group. "They need to walk a tightrope between continuing to support their own and Compaq's products at the same time as they are planning changes for the future." King says two prominent examples show the companies are moving forward. "The [storage management] API swap with EMC is a good example of the sort of thing we will probably see more of," King says. "Another is the merger of the companies' directions on Itanium."

August 12, 2002: "You're starting to see continuity across EMC, and you're really seeing EMC become more mature," said Joyce Becknell, an analyst at The Sageza Group Inc. in Mountain View, Calif. "For a long while, they were only in the high end, and now they're much more sensitive to the customer, partly because of competition." Midsize businesses that need systems with up to 60 drives represent the fastest-growing segment of the storage market, she added.

June 5, 2002: Charles King, an analyst at Sageza Group Inc. in Mountain View, Calif., said the [Dell/Oracle] deal could help Dell gain popularity with small and midsize companies looking for affordable database configurations. For larger enterprises, in-house custom builds may be a better answer than prepackaged hardware and software, he said.

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April 8, 2002: “IBM has been getting more astute at Unix, and it is launching products at prices that put its competitors in palpitations,” said Charles King, an analyst with Sageza.

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April 8, 2002: In a recent white paper on Commoditization, Standards, and the Enterprise, the Sageza Group does a good job describing the hard questions and the transition this industry faces. According to Sageza, the wide availability of low-cost commodity components will bring an ever-increasing amount of computational, network and storage capability at ever-decreasing price points to most any enterprise… Sageza’s paper goes on to say that historically, enterprise applications were homegrown or heavily customized implementations of vertically integrated software solutions… As Sageza recently noted, in a world that continue its migration toward standardized computing technologies, Sun’s species appears to be increasingly endangered or significantly separated from the mainstream. —(Carly Fiorina, address to Oracle Appsworld in San Diego, California)

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April 5, 2002: IBM sta diventando più furbo con Unix e sta lanciando nuovi prodotti a prezzi che fanno venire le palpitazioni ai concorrenti,” ha detto Charles King, analista della Sageza, una società di ricerca di mercato della Silicon Valley.

March 29, 2002: “Over the last year or so, Sun has been increasingly marginalized as every other major IT vendor declared some sort of Linux strategy. They were the odd-man-out as far as Linux, which was making the majority of its penetration in the spaces Sun plays anyway,” said Charles King, senior analyst at Sageza. “The fact that they've finally gotten themselves together is a good thing.”

March 1, 2002: Analysts see Stone’s return boosting morale at the software maker. “Novell has gone through a number of rounds of abrupt management changes over the years, yet this feels different,” said a note issued Thursday by The Sageza Group, a market analyzer based in Mountain View, Calif. “With the return of Mr. Stone, the company will bring back one of the men credited with turning around the company under the direction of Eric Schmidt.”


February 9, 2002: The midrange space is a reliable, growing market, but IBM and its competitors have a secondary reason for their renewed interest, says Sageza Group senior analyst Charles King. “Enterprises have pretty tight purse strings right now,” he says. “[IBM’s] Regatta and [Sun’s] Star Cat 15K are both very interesting, very capable high-end machines, but I think vendors like IBM and Sun may have looked around and thought, maybe we should come out with something cheaper, something  companies can get by with, that they can actually afford at this point.”

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January 17, 2002: “Questions still remain about how practical this stuff will be for PC networks and Web sites,” said Charles King, a Sageza Group analyst. One problem is that nobody’s figured out a way yet to manage different flavors of servers and storage devices along grids. This is still an evolving market that’s going to take time to take hold. It’s doubtful HP is going to make much of a dent in grid computing with new customers. But UDC has the potential to convince some of their large existing customers to add storage and server capacity to their systems a little more quickly.”


January 4, 2002: As users revamp disaster recovery plans, one of the sticking points will be the issue of high availability to disaster recovery in multitiered, distributed, and complex environments, said Charles King, an analyst at Sageza Group in Redwood City, Calif. “At some point, the simple efficiency of having humans manage in large multiterabyte environments becomes very difficult,” King said. [He added] that many customers are hesitant to turn over business-critical data in an outsourcing agreement.


November 9, 2001: According to recent research by analyst firm The Sageza Group, enterprises are signaling a clear trend toward adoption of XML-based Web services. “We're in an early transitional stage,” said Clay Ryder, vice president and COO at The Sageza Group. “XML is not going to cause an overall ripping out of EDI.” Ryder agreed with Ingram's comments that EDI remains a stable platform, to a point. “At the same time that’s like saying the 1964 Dodge Dart is stable and the best car going forward for the future,” he added.


November 4, 2001: “No more pipe dreams — the new VC reality is ‘show me the profits,’ ” said Jim Balderston, a senior analyst with the Sageza Group. “I think VCs are going to have to drill down with technical expertise to evaluate much more gearhead kinds of startups.”


September 10, 2001: The integration will mainly be a political and logistical issue, analysts said. “Certainly, almost everyone at Compaq is getting a new boss,” said Harry Fenik, president of The Sageza Group.